For-profit University of Phoenix comes to legislature to talk about N.C.’s workforce needs

A for-profit higher education company made a presentation at the N.C. legislature Wednesday, in part to make a pitch for the state to establish a central office where businesses can request help meeting their workforce needs.

Scott D’Amico of Apollo Education Group , the parent company for the University of Phoenix, said he conducted a survey of manufacturing businesses, and found that many wished they had more awareness of what the higher education system can do to help train future workers.

D’Amico said he surveyed the companies on behalf of the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, as a way of gauging the needs of North Carolina’s business community.

Though there are many groups in the state that work on issues surrounding training future workers with needed skill sets, many employers are often unaware of those efforts, D’Amico said.

“The manufacturers don’t always hear about this,” he said. “There were a lot of disjointed efforts”

D’Amico’s 12-page presentation (click here to view) at the Senate Workforce and Economic Development committee meeting was met with some skepticism by lawmakers, several of whom pointed out that the state’s community college system and commerce department already work closely with employers.

“Do you not do the same things our community colleges do?,” asked state Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican and an influential member on education issues. “I would hope and expect our chamber would be just as anxious to work with our community colleges.”

D’Amico said the University of Phoenix, which does have a Charlotte campus, came in to survey what needs North Carolina has, and wasn’t using its visit to the legislature as a way of increasing its footprint in the state.

State Sen. Mike Woodard, a Democrat from Durham County, said though ideas about having ways for businesses to community their workforce needs are important, it already exists in the state.

“We have a lot of that in place now,” Woodard said. “They [businesses] can make that call to the community college system.”

State Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Republican from Wake County who chairs the committee, said the meeting that the University of Phoenix, which was working with the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, was invited to speak in order for the committee to hear from a wide range of viewpoints.

“It is important to listen to the business community,” Barefoot said.

The state’s workforce development agencies, community college system, and N.C. Department of Public Instruction have all made presentations to the committee, he said.


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    July 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    What does it matter if the university is for profit or not? There are a lot of for profit universities in this state for example…Duke, Elon, Catawba, Davidson….etc etc. Being for profit makes no difference on the research.

  2. Hmm

    July 15, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    So, LSD, do you really think that the schools you named are for-profit enterprises? Really? Do you really think that tax deductible contributions to Duke get paid out as dividends or something to the owners?

    Is the Presbyterian Church also for profit? If so, I’d like to buy some stock. I heard those Scots keep a clean balance sheet. On that note, maybe I can buy some Class A shares of Davidson. Give me the name of your broker.

    I may only have a degree from lowly UNC-Chapel Hole, but they did learn me a bit about how the world works. And how to read…

  3. ncsense

    July 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    LSD — The universities that you listed are private; they are not “for profit”. All are organized as nonprofits. Unfortunately, a number of for-profit universities have very poor reputations because they offer substandard education at high cost.

  4. Susan

    July 15, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    LSD appears driver to share his “opinion” on the majority of topics.

  5. LayintheSmakDown

    July 16, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Guys, if the universities did not make a profit in some way or another they would not be able to continue as a going concern. I know this comes as a surprise, but it is the truth. They may be classified as a “not-for-profit” but that is just a tax scheme. Just look at their endowments for example, do they increase each year? Those are income sources…..they create assets with their excess profits….they pay out expenses to their designated purposes. Just because a university may pay a small portion of their profits to a shareholder base does not make them some kind of eeeeeviiill university.
    Susan….you are really sounding like a past commenter on these boards who just liked to troll. Are you sure you are not really Alan undergoing a “Jenner” process. Alan becomes Susan…guess it follows the society trend. I am just glad to see your gender bending has made you a bit less hateful.

  6. Susan

    July 16, 2015 at 11:25 am

    LSD at the risk of providing information I am a registered nurse who has devotedly my life to caring for others.
    I form my opinions on objective as well as scientific data.

  7. LayintheSmakDown

    July 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I look forward to observing you being objective then. Maybe we have one other person here who does not automatically toe the progresso line and can think to view other lines of reasoning. Only time will tell but I assume you just say that to make yourself feel better. I am sure you are for example a climate alarmist, feel that raising taxes and increasing government are the answer to everything…just like most of the other lemmings here.

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