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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023


By JENNIFER NETHERBY Staff Reporter Forging partnerships with the San Fernando Valley business community will be one of the first orders of business for the newly named president of Pierce College. Darroch “Rocky” Young said stronger community ties, especially with businesses, will help improve dwindling school enrollment and other problems. “I think it’s important for a number of reasons,” Young said. “We want companies to feel an ownership with Pierce. I’m more interested in building a valuable partnership than getting money.” Young, who is currently vice president of planning and development at Santa Monica College, will take over as Pierce president next month. In Santa Monica, he developed the Entertainment Technology Academy, a two-year program that partners with more than 40 entertainment companies. Under the program, school faculty train with an entertainment company for a six-week period and students are given internships and sometimes even jobs after graduation. Meanwhile, the companies assess the college’s curriculum and suggest ways to better prepare students. Young plans similar moves in the San Fernando Valley, where some business leaders are encouraged by his selection. “Frankly, I think we got lucky,” said Ross Hopkins, chair of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley. “He’s got a good feel for working with business.”

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