The community formally welcomed Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College's new president, Friday.
Duckworth has said he looks forward to playing a significant role in the community as the college builds on its 63-year history of providing an education to area residents and doing its best to fulfill the needs of area businesses and industries. Duckworth's previous work experience includes helping Utah Valley University earn the designation of a "Community-Engaged" institution from the Carnegie Foundation; building on the concept of "Art as an Industry" while working at Southern Utah University and playing a role in the People for Progress organization in Minot, N.D. All of that background will serve him well at JCC. His background bodes well for his future work at JCC.
Duckworth's predecessor, Dr. Gregory DeCinque, led the college through rocky financial times and restored JCC to solid footing while adding residence halls and a beautiful new science center to the campus. DeCinque oversaw a period in which JCC expanded its role as a gateway for its students to four-year universities while also working to align the college's offerings to better prepare its students to fill local jobs in nursing and manufacturing.
It is quite a legacy DeCinque leaves, but Duckworth brings a boatload of ideas and enthusiasm to his job as college president. He has spent the past couple of months working on six goals that will help him lead the college in the future. First, Duckworth needed to run the campus in such a way that wouldn't interrupt current education programs while he became acquainted with the campus, its personnel and the community. He wanted to work on shoring up the college's enrollment figures and gain a better understanding of college policies. Lastly, Duckworth and his wife wanted to find suitable roles and invest themselves in the community.
Those are a wonderful way to spend the first few months on the job. Today's inauguration, however, signals a shift for Duckworth. He is no longer the new guy in someone else's office. He is officially Jamestown Community College's president, a role that brings much responsibility when it comes to helping prepare this county's manufacturing workforce and making sure a large number of our youth are ready for four-year colleges.
Duckworth's history shows he is a wise choice to replace Dr. DeCinque, and we join the rest of the community in welcoming Duckworth to the job.