City of Saluda and Isothermal team up for student success 

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

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The City of Saluda and Isothermal Community College are working together to create opportunities for students.  


The partnership has resulted in the town sponsoring a student, Halley Slentz, in the upcoming Basic Law Enforcement Training class.  

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“We started working with Saluda and its town manager, Steven Orr, on some internship opportunities in the town’s Public Works Department,” said Mark Franklin, Isothermal’s director of Customized Training and Development. “Out of that initial work came the idea to create this internship with the Saluda Police Department.”  


Slentz, who lives in Marion, will start the class at Isothermal, but will engage in some on-site work opportunities in Saluda, said Franklin.  


The partnership yields several benefits, not only for the student but for the town, said Orr.  


“We knew that for Saluda to compete in the tight labor market, we had to be creative, responsible, and resourceful with the costs of a program and that by leveraging one of North Carolina’s best resources our Community Colleges we could put a program together with Isothermal Community College and the Apprenticeship NC Program that would create value for all who are part of this collaboration and the citizens of Saluda,” said Orr. 


Slentz joined Orr and Franklin at the Spindale campus Wednesday morning to finalize the agreement for the internship. Also in attendance were Dr. Margaret Annunziata, president of Isothermal Community College; Stan Walker of the Saluda Board of Commissioners; Julie Osteen, the town’s finance director; Chief Charles Conner of the Saluda Police Department; Dr. Thad Harrill, ICC’s vice president of Community and Workforce Development; Ava Yamouti, dean of Health and Public Services; and Philip Bailey, director of the BLET program. 


Municipalities interested in getting involved with Isothermal’s work-based programs should contact Franklin at 828-395-1677 or  


The next BLET class begins soon. For information, contact Brenda McFarland at 828-395-1668 or Bailey at 828-395-1644.  

Submitted by Michael Gavin