Press Releases

Nash Community College Hosts Congressman Don Davis

On Aug. 29, Nash Community College hosted Congressman Don Davis during a visit to Rocky Mount to discuss Apprenticeships and needs from Washington, DC.

Born in Snow Hill, North Carolina, and working in the tobacco fields as a young man, he learned the value of hard work and education.

“My grandmother is the reason why I understand the value of education,” said Rep. Davis. “What is truly influential is that I have gotten to experience what it is like to have little and now what it is like to be in a position where I can make real change and support the communities like I grew up in.”

Rep. Davis has had an interesting path, and everything has come together. He has spent his life as a United States Air Force Veteran, educator, minister and public servant.

“Starting with eating food off of my grandmother’s plate to serving this great country to serving as a member of the Agriculture Committee in the United States House of Representatives, I have made it to a place where I can have thoughtful conversations and policy that will ensure that everyone in America can eat without worry,” said Rep. Davis.

He shared insights into North Carolina’s growing station in the country.

“For the second time, we have been ranked as the number one state to do business,” said Rep. Davis. “In addition to that, we are one of the fastest growing states in terms of population in the nation.”

Rep. Davis believes that community colleges are the backbone of education in a community.

“Community colleges are the backbone of the educational and workforce development in local communities,” said Rep. Davis. “Education fundamentally is a lifeline that changes the trajectory of everything we do.”

He and his team are working with fellow congressmen/women to support further crucial apprenticeship work nationwide, not just in North Carolina.

As he finished up, Rep. Davis opened the floor to representatives (Cummins, Boice-Willis, ApprenticeshipNC, Nash Community College, City of Rocky Mount) in the room to share with him what they are doing and what they need from those in Washington to support what they are doing.

“The ask is to spread the word,” said Haarish Venkitachalam, Senior Director of Operations at Cummins – Rocky Mount. “From outside in, the trade world doesn’t look appealing anymore, so we need help generating interest again.”

Boice-Willis shared that it’s crucial that both Rep. Davis and all other members in Washington to simply continue to be present.

Funding is how ApprenticeshipNC determines whether it will continue effectively accomplishing its goals.

“With this, we stay ahead of employment trends and, of course, enhance workforce development,” said Dale Yarborough at ApprenticeshipNC.

Rep. Davis’s framework is supported through necessary funding and, more specifically, grants.

“Grants and the importance of grants in coordination with how federal appropriations allow local and state communicates to employ, train, and education is vital in the big scheme of things when thinking about how we can do better,” said Rep. Davis.