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COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND BUSINESSES JOIN FORCES TO TRAIN WORKFORCE FOR THRIVING, NEW INDUSTRY

 RALEIGH, N.C., March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolina Power & Light (NYSE: CPL), the N.C. Telephone Association (NCTA) and Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, today announced a partnership effort to bolster the state's newest and fastest-growing industry -- fiber optics.
 CP&L and NCTA join Central Carolina in establishing an electronics wing of the Advanced Technology Building on its Harnett County campus. The new wing will be named the "Carolina Power and Light Company and North Carolina Telephone Association Laser, Electro-Optics and Electronics Center of Excellence."
 Carolina Power and Light Company and the North Carolina Telephone Association today presented Dr. Marvin R. Joyner, president of Central Carolina, with the first year funding of a three-year grant of $54,750. The grant will be used to support Central Carolina's laser and electro- optics technician program, the only one of its kind in the southeastern United States. Specifically, the funds will underwrite scholarships, assistanceships, equipment, software and marketing.
 North Carolina has emerged as the world's largest fiber optics manufacturer.
 Orchestrators of the arrangement say that the partnership could lead to the establishment of the community colleges' first "Center of Excellence," now under consideration by the State Board of Community Colleges and the North Carolina General Assembly.
 The Center of Excellence model was first proposed in the 1989 report of the Commission on the Future of the North Carolina Community College System, chaired by Sherwood H. Smith Jr., chairman of CP&L. Under that model, statewide committees of faculty and business representatives would be selected on the basis of excellence and leadership to design, set standards and update curriculums in response to changes in technologies and market conditions. The concept is an expansion of the system's Curriculum Improvement Projects that bring together instructors and industry to update curriculums.
 "It gives me great pleasure to help provide leadership and resources to see the recommendations of the Commission on the Future become a reality, and to form this partnership," Smith said.
 Dave Maginnis, president of the N.C. Telephone Association, echoed Smith's comments, adding, "We believe this Center of Excellence will be an excellent training center in technology and an economic boost to the state."
 Community College System President Robert W. Scott said the partnership with CP&L and NCTA represents a new commitment to put in place the technical leadership that will afford students quality training. In so doing, students will be assured employment in a new and growing industry and the state's corporate citizens will have the skilled labor needed to compete successfully in global markets.
 "Today is an important one for the community college system," Scott said. "We are very grateful to CP&L and the Telephone Association for their commitment to become partners with the system. It will ensure that our students will remain on the cutting edge in the area of fiber optics manufacturing."
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Delores Mason Steele, North Carolina Community College System, 919-733-7051 ext. 722/


CO: Carolina Power & Light; N.C. Telephone Association; Central
 Carolina Community College ST: North Carolina IN: TLS SU: JVN


SB -- CH011 -- 1158 03/30/93 15:03 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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