At the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) “Innovators Award” dinner on December 10, Rappahannock Community College programmer and analyst Bob Whitney was honored with one of the three Expanding Opportunities awards that were presented this year.
To receive these awards, nominees must have “demonstrated extraordinary contributions to the workforce system,” or have “expanded workforce opportunities” either in their own localities or across the Commonwealth.
RCC’s vice president of workforce development, Jason Perry, describes Whitney as “the ‘go-to’ person when it comes to implementation of information technology projects across the VCCS.”
Whitney’s 16 years of experience in his specialty, and his “system approach to problem-solving,” enabled him to put into operation the VCCS-wide “PeopleSoft” student information database, which tracks student enrollment, academic records, finances, and scholastic progress at the click of a mouse.
Whitney was also instrumental in setting up the Workforce Enterprise System (WES) — a user-friendly online registration and payment tool which, again, is used throughout the VCCS to help students register for Workforce courses. Using WES, prospective students can search noncredit courses 24 hours a day, seven days a week; self-register with a shopping cart feature; and receive recommendations for upcoming courses based on those they have taken in the past. (Noncredit courses do not count toward a degree, but can improve workplace skills and lead to certifications and other credentials). WES benefits VCCS colleges by giving the public access to the most current course listings, as well as steering users to employer services that may be of interest.
“Bob is not only an asset to the individual colleges,” says Perry, “but also continues to be an integral part of the WES team, and uses his comprehensive skills to enhance program productivity.”