RCC-Workforce watermen tourism program earns U.S. regional award

RCC’s Workforce and Community Development Office, in partnership with Chesapeake Environmental Communication, recently won the Community Economic Development Award from the Southern Economic Development Council.

Pictured, from left to right, are Cherie Carl, RCC’s dean of college advancement; Chris Ingram; RCC’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther, holding the SEDC award; RCC’s vice president of workforce development, Jason Perry; and Paula Jasinski of Chesapeake Environmental Communications, holding the VEDA award.

Rappahannock Community College’s Workforce and Community Development Office, in partnership with Chesapeake Environmental Communications, recently won the Community Economic Development Award, in the over-100,000 population category, from the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), which covers the southeastern United States from the District of Columbia to Texas.

This honor recognizes the success of the Watermen Tourism Training Program, a project that combines community development, business retention and expansion, and community involvement throughout the Northern Neck-Middle Peninsula region.

The program has already won a similar award, this past spring, from the Virginia Economic Development Association (VEDA).

The Watermen Tourism Training Program (nominated for these awards by Chris Ingram, Middlesex County’s economic development director) provides training for watermen who wish to supplement their incomes by developing tourism-based businesses.

In addition to providing a much-needed alternate source of income for Virginia’s working watermen, the program spurs cross-industry economic development throughout coastal Virginia, connects the public directly with working watermen as educators and Bay stewards, and emphasizes the benefits of buying local seafood.