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State Official’s Visit to ACC Focuses on Women’s Employment Issues

Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the NC Dept. of Administration, speaks in ACC’s Patterson Auditorium.

Machelle Sanders, Secretary of the NC Dept. of Administration, speaks in ACC’s Patterson Auditorium.

NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders visited Alamance Community College on June 6, in conjunction with the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement, to talk about the state of employment and earnings for women in the state.

Jennifer Clark, Director of Communications at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, reported that North Carolina earned a C in the area of Employment & Earnings, an improvement from the D that the state received more than ten years ago. Consequently, North Carolina ranks in the middle third for three out of four indicators, and in the bottom third for the share of women in the labor force.

Secretary Sanders praised the College for initiatives that help women matriculate through their studies, including the presence of a five-star, on-site childcare center, which provides care for the children of students, the community, and faculty and staff—but also serves as a learning lab for students studying Early Childhood Education.

ACC President Algie Gatewood said in opening remarks that the College’s proposed $39 million capitals bond referendum includes $1 million toward renovation and expansion of the on-site childcare center. Voters will make their decision on the bond in November.

Machelle Sanders visits ACCFollowing the presentation of the Status on Women report, Secretary Sanders toured the childcare center with Kristina Ketcham, Department Head for Early Childhood Education.

Dionne Hunter, a single mother graduating June 8 with an Associate in Arts degree, spoke to the campus audience about how her time at ACC has been made easier by having her three-year-old daughter nearby in the childcare facility.

Referring to the Status on Women Report, Secretary Sanders said women’s underemployment and wage earnings “is not a woman’s issue, not a family issue…it’s an economic issue that affects the entire community and state.”

Also attending the presentation in the College auditorium were numerous women who hold state offices, including those in the Dept. of Transportation and Council for Women.

Governor Roy Cooper appointed Machelle Sanders Secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration in 2017. Secretary Sanders oversees the state agency whose mission is to provide high-quality services effectively, efficiently and economically to its customers: the citizens, agencies and communities of North Carolina. 

Machelle Sanders (center), Secretary of the NC Dept. of Administration, tours ACC’s five-star childcare center with Kristina Ketcham (at right), Dept. Head for Early Childhood Education.

Machelle Sanders (center), Secretary of the NC Dept. of Administration, tours ACC’s five-star childcare center with Kristina Ketcham (at right), Dept. Head for Early Childhood Education.

The Department of Administration oversees operations such as building construction, purchasing and contracting for goods and services, facilities maintenance, management of state vehicles, and acquiring and disposing of real property. In addition to its role as a service provider to other state agencies, the department provides staff support to several councils and commissions which advocate for the special needs of North Carolina’s citizens.