The Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) at Averett University strives to be the regional hub that links students and faculty with community partners, both to create distinct learning experiences and career opportunities and to strengthen the social and economic vitality of our region. Each initiative at the CCECC is based in our belief that the university has a responsibility to our community and focuses on connecting students to the region, through civic engagement activities, volunteerism, service-learning and internships.
We also focus on connecting community members to service. For instance, our Engaged Employers initiative, recruits and recognizes businesses and organizations that allow employees to take at least eight hours of service leave each year. The CCECC also leads the Engage Coalition, a network of community organizations working towards the advancement of community engagement through volunteerism and service-learning in the Dan River Region. The Coalition includes our two local community colleges, the K-12 schools in Danville, as well as Pittsylvania and Caswell Counties, non-profit organizations, and representatives from local government.
The CCECC works closely with the City of Danville on projects like the Love Danville Council, which connects students directly with our City Council, and an initiative called AU in the River District, which focuses on getting students engaged in local River District revitalization efforts. Our latest collaboration is exploring the opportunity for our students to design and paint colorful, vibrant images on drains across the city in an effort to raise awareness about what is dumped down the drains that run into our river.
Averett University is proud to be a member of the VA Engage Network, and looks forward to time with colleagues to learn what opportunities are being provided at other colleges and universities across the Commonwealth. This network has played an important role in the establishment of our center at Averett, and for that we are appreciative.
Alexis Ehrhardt is the Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness at Averett University in Danville, Virginia.