BY CAROL ROEHM
When Andy Perry became the new director of the Corporate and Community Education Division at Danville Area Community College, he was returning to his east central Illinois roots.
The former Chrisman resident, who has more than 15 years of experience within the community college system, replaces Sara Van De Walker who retired after 27 years of service to the college at the end of June.
Dave Kietzmann, DACC’s vice president of instruction and student services, said the college reviewed “a number of candidates” for the director position, but said Perry’s experience in industrial safety made him a perfect fit for the division.
“He was certainly one of the strongest candidates because of his experience with OSHA safety training and all the contractual training he had done,” Kietzmann said.
“He brought a lot of experience and he was a natural fit for us,” he added.
Perry joins DACC from Richland Community College in Decatur where he held a variety of roles — most recently as director of sustainability and contract training.
Perry explained that contract training allows local companies to purchase a class from the community college that is tailored to their employees.
Prior to that, Perry was a training coordinator for eight years, managing contract training with business and industry clients. Perry holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational safety and health from Indiana State University.
“I’m excited about it,” Perry said of his new leadership role in one of DACC’s busiest divisions. “I was craving a challenge.”
The Corporate and Community Education Division encompasses the areas of: work force resources, such as employee training, potential employee assessments and profiling; community CPR; culinary arts; driver education, such as tractor-trailer driver education and defensive driving; healthcare/professional development, such as medical coding basics, medical insurance billing, pharmacy technician and phlebotomy techniques; and the Small Business Development Center.
“I like the variety of things. There are so many different elements in the division,” Perry said.
In the two months he’s been at DACC, Perry has been successful in getting the Danville college designated as a host site — or satellite location — for one of 24 National Safety Education Centers for OSHA training.
With the designation, Perry said DACC “will be a local resource for safety and health management classes.”
“We’ll have classes that will meet the needs of all employers,” he said.
Since arriving at DACC in August, Perry has been busy visiting local employers and says he looks forward to “expanding the offerings” in the Corporate and Community Education Division.
“I want to find out what kind of needs there are in the community and develop new curriculum to meet those needs,” he said.