By Tom Woerner, The Daily Record of Dunn
DUNN - The highest officials at one of North Carolina's well-known private colleges brought an interesting educational opportunity for both high school and community college students to Dunn Monday morning.
Livingstone College, a private, predominantly African-American school in Salisbury, brought their "rolling hospitality program" to the Central Carolina Community College's Dunn Center campus.
The training facility, on wheels, is a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, fireplace, working television and a hotel desk for training and a classroom for other areas of hospitality management.
Students in Harnett Early College, now operating in its first year at the site, and Central Carolina College culinary arts students toured the facility.
Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins was on the scene to show off the facility and talk to students.
"This is a tracking symbol for what we are doing on campus," Dr. Jenkins said. "It lets us carry our message to the road."
Livingstone College Associate Vice President Tony Baldwin said the mobile program creates interest among students.
"This gives us the opportunity to add some spice to what we do," Mr. Baldwin said.
Students were impressed with what they saw.
"It is nice what they are trying to do for students and for the community," Central Carolina Community College student Christopher Beaty said.
"It is really state-of-the-art," student Charles Moore said.
Students toured the facility and got a taste of food prepared in the mobile kitchen. They also got words of encouragement from Dr. Jenkins.
"If you don't have education, you can't function in today's society," Dr. Jenkins said. "If you want to learn, we are going to help you find a way. This is your charge, get your degrees and do something good."
He also announced plans to begin investigating a partnership between his school and Central Carolina Community College. Ideally, students would receive their associate's degree at the local school before moving into the bachelor's program in hospitality management at Livingstone College.
"I hope we can develop a seamless transition from your program to ours," Dr. Jenkins said. Livingstone has become a leader in the hospitality education industry. Their work has included the purchase of a Holiday Inn building in Salisbury where the school is located. The facility is used as a training facility for hospitality students. "We can match any hospitality program in the country," Dr. Baldwin said.
Dr. Baldwin was also impressed with what he saw in Harnett County. The Dunn Center, a historic educational site, is now used by both the community college and the first-year Harnett Early College program.
"This facility shows a lot of vision," Dr. Jenkins said.
Daily Record Photo/Tom Woerner. Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, shown in center, showed off the school's mobile culinary arts program in Dunn Monday. He is shown inside the mobile unit with, from left, Central Carolina Community College Provost Jon Matthews, Livingstone College Associate Vice President Tony Baldwin and Harnett County Early College Principal Walter McPherson.