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Shirley Rijkse uses CCCC as springboard to career

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Click to enlarge,  Shirley Rijkse gives credit to her Central Carolina Community College education in boosting her career. For more on CCCC, visit

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Shirley Rijkse gives credit to her Central Carolina Community College education in boosting her career. ... (more)

03.02.2015College & CommunityCollege GeneralStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Shirley Rijkse was an active student at Central Carolina Community College.

She was a college Student Ambassador, an accounting tutor in the Academic Assistance Center, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and Phi Beta Lambda business club. Her recognitions include Business Student of the Year in 2011, and two national awards while with Phi Beta Lambda -- Human Resource Management and Healthcare Administration.

She also was a student speaker at her May 2011 graduation.

While at CCCC, she studied Human Resource Management and Accounting, which led to a vocational trainer position at Lee County Industries, Inc.

"My previous experiences and my new education prepared me with competencies to assist LCI clients with a full range of human resource applications. Such things as skills assessments, resumes, work adjustment training, etc.," said Rijkse. "This meant I was now able to help others with barriers to employment to get in front of employers for interviews, job placements, and assist with on the job coaching to ensure a successful outcome for both the client and the employer."

In addition, Rijkse was project manager for a manufacturing grant received by LCI. "As the project manager, I was able to develop materials, increase my community resources, and demonstrate my ability to help our local unemployed and manufacturers," she said.

While managing the manufacturing project, she continued her education with Franklin University from which she has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She also completed her MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Franklin University.

She also has been promoted to Director of Career Services at LCI Inc.

"Throughout this career path, I have grown to become an asset to my community with a job that has many intrinsic rewards," said Rijkse. "My best days are those when we get someone trained to do a job they want and can have a successful outcome for our client. I am blessed to be part of an organization seeking to partner with companies to offer win-win solutions."

Rijkse said her department offers assessments, education, and training of vocational rehabilitation clients as they prepare to go to work in the community. "LCI engages in partnerships with businesses to do fulfillment, assembly, kitting, inspection, etc., as well as document conversion services to digitize records for other companies," she said.

Rijkse gives credit to her Central Carolina Community College education in boosting her career. "My CCCC education gave me the opportunity to try new things, go outside my comfort zone in a safe environment, gaining experiences that only would happen at college," she said. "Most of all, my commitment in conjunction with the network of learning connections, mentors, and community resources I was exposed to, through the college, opened doors to facilitate my success."

What are her remembrances of her time at CCCC?

"I especially liked the small classes and attention available if you need it," she said. "I was well prepared for continuing on to a four-year college. You can be as engaged in college activities as you desire."

Rijkse noted that she remembers teachers who encouraged her to try new things and persevere at times of frustration.

"Shirley is smart, enjoys working with students, and has many friends and supporters here at CCCC," said George Clayton, CCCC Human Resource Management Lead Instructor. "She always represents herself and CCCC in a positive manner."

Now, Rijkse is able to help others as she serves as an adjunct instructor at the college. "It is great to help someone gain the tools to enjoy the career path they have chosen," she said. "My passion is helping others achieve their goals. Perhaps I will inspire someone else seeking their path to a rewarding experience and career success."

For more about Central Carolina Community College, visit