The Gila County Community College District Governing board has made its choice for the new dean of the Payson campus.
Pamela Butterfield is scheduled to arrive in Payson and take over on Sept. 17, Margo Bracamonte, Senior Dean for the district, said.
Currently, Stephen Cullen, Globe campus dean, is acting as the interim dean until Butterfield arrives.
"This is an exciting time for the Payson Campus," Cullen said.
"She (Butterfield) is an extraordinary woman, it was clear during the interview process that she has a good grasp of work force development and that's typically part of the core role at a community college, to provide relevant workforce development."
Bracamonte said the process of choosing a new dean was not easy, but that after they initially narrowed it down to five candidates, the Dean Search Committee chose Butterfield because of her years of experience in work force development, as well as her administrative qualifications.
Butterfield comes from Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif., near San Diego.
"She has 22 years of experience in education," Bracamonte said. "She has been both an instructor and an administrator during her career at Palomar."
"She began as an ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor and then went into administration, where she worked in work force development, which is a program we want to develop at GCC campuses." Bracamonte said.
Some of the areas of study offered by the work force development program at Palomar included; a certification program in administrative assistant's professional development, basic assessments and skills training in: reading, writing, and math, human resources compliance courses (OHSA, Sexual Harassment, etc.), improving your communication style, English as a Second Language (ESL), command Spanish, computer science programs and a certification program in quality assurance technology.
Cullen said the district wants to offer courses and workshops like the ones Butterfield and Palomar Community College offered to students in California.
"I look forward to working with her as dean in Globe, to collaborate and share ideas back and forth," Cullen said.
He said the role of community colleges has changed in the last 20 years from simply offering affordable general education to the community, to more of a role of providing the community with employable individuals ready to take a productive place in the work force.
Cullen said there is an underserved segment of the population of people trying to make a transition from welfare to work, and that often includes individuals who are in "dead-end" jobs.
He wants to work with Butterfield to "re-tool" people to offer more opportunities for advancement in the workplace.
Cullen said the college will be "rolling out" a "Workforce Academy" program next week, in cooperation with local businesses.
The college will use local businesses as "training sites" to provide internship and apprenticeship-type opportunities to better prepare people to have the skills typically needed in more technologically oriented work environments.
"She had a great perspective on that, and a lot of experience [in work force development] and that was one of her strong points during the interview process," Cullen said.