The Cannon Foundation announced an investment of $100,000 in the Sampson Community College (SCC) Truck Driver Training Program. The program, started in 2006 with support from Golden LEAF and local businesses, trains class A and class B drivers that are critical to the regional economy. The grant will help fund the construction of a training site in the Sampson County Industrial Park on property that was donated by the Clinton 100 Committee. Golden LEAF has also committed funds to the project that will start in the spring of 2019.
The Cannon Foundation was established in 1943 by Charles A. Cannon, President and CEO of Cannon Mills Company. The Foundation continues his philanthropic legacy by funding capital and equipment projects for organizations across Mr. Cannon’s home state of North Carolina. SCC President, Dr. Bill Starling expressed his appreciation of the Cannon award, “On behalf of the Trustees and our SCC community, I want to thank The Cannon Foundation for this generous gift in support of our effort to construct truck driving training facilities here in our county. This gift is a visible acknowledgement of the Foundation’s support for community-based partnerships that help address the state’s workforce training needs by providing accessible career training opportunities that enhance the quality of life of all North Carolinians. I would also like to applaud the ongoing efforts of Ms. Lisa Turlington, the College’s Dean of Advancement, the SCC Foundation, and other supporters who continue to help develop resources in support of the College’s mission.”
Fred Stamey (L), Director of Transportation Programs talks with student, Israel Martinez.
Director of Transportation Programs, Fred Stamey, is especially pleased with the award because he began his career in the industry with Cannon Mills. Amanda Bradshaw, SCC Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education noted the connection, “We are thankful for Cannon’s support of the program as we work to provide a nationally recognized training program that meets industry needs. This partnership is truly special for Fred, as it brings his story full circle. He fondly remembers his first driving job with Cannon Mills in Kannapolis.” Stamey has taught Truck Driver Training for the NC Community College system for twenty-four years and developed the program for SCC in 2006.
Transportation employment tops the list of most common jobs in NC, and regional companies need more drivers to expand businesses. Lisa Turlington, SCC Dean of Advancement, emphasized the economic impact of the program, “Across the state and the entire nation, there is a shortage of well-trained truck drivers, and everyone who completes the SCC program has multiple job offers. This project will expand the program to increase enrollment and allow more people to train for good careers in transportation.” For information about the program, go to sampsoncc.edu or call 910-592-7176.