The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, Dr. John Rainone, president of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, in Clifton Forge, VA, has been named NACCE's 2020 Entrepreneurial President of the Year.
Under Rainone’s leadership, the college has recently raised approximately $1 million to acquire and develop the college's new workforce and entrepreneurship center in Buena Vista that will open in 2021.
"I’m so honored to be named the 2020 recipient of this award,” said Dr. Rainone. “Although this award is given to an individual, the success takes a team that is tenacious, innovative, and creative to be successful. Thank you to the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College community."
DSLCC was one of 80 colleges selected for a national apprenticeship program through the American Association of Community Colleges. Through NACCE, the college was selected to participate in the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund, a program that fosters entrepreneurship by providing funding otherwise not available to start-ups and scale-ups with an eye toward innovation, diversity, inclusion and local economic growth. In addition, he assisted the Advancement Foundation expand the annual entrepreneurial program (Gauntlet) to the college's center in another community, now offering the program in multiple locations in the service area.
Dr. Rainone serves as a mentor to local entrepreneurs and provides training in non-profit areas as well as workshops on QuickBooks. He has expanded workforce development offerings in the college's service region through partnerships with employers in unmanned systems; manufacturing; apprenticeships; and the arts. Rainone also serves on the region's Workforce Board as well as two regional economic development committees.
"President Rainone has worked with a number of private foundations to expand the college's entrepreneurial programs both on campus and throughout the community," said Dr. Rebecca Corbin, President and CEO of NACCE. "He has also expanded workforce development offerings in the college's service area through key partnerships with employers. We are proud to honor President Rainone with NACCE's Entrepreneurial President of the Year Award for 2020."
NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs focused on igniting entrepreneurship in their communities and campuses. NACCE has two main goals: to empower college leaders to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset and to grow the community college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem. NACCE has over 340-member colleges, representing nearly 2,000 members and approximately 3.3 million students. For more information, visit www.nacce.com.