President Parker Inducted into Chester County Business Hall of Fame
Delaware County Community College President Dr. Jerry Parker receives Business Hall of Fame Award from CCEDC President/CEO Gary Smith (Photo by Janette McVey Photography).
The above video was shown at the CCEDC Business Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • March 31, 2017)—Three months before he is set to retire, Delaware County Community College President Dr. Jerry Parker received a crowning accolade for his decades of service when he was inducted into the Chester County Business Hall of Fame at the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Business Achievement Awards dinner last night.
Before more than 400 attendees at the Phoenixville Foundry, Dr. Parker, who will retire July 1 after 40 years at the College, including 14 years as president, received the award for his exemplary leadership and vision in forging lasting relationships between the College and business owners and manufacturers in Chester County.
“Our county has evolved into one of the most high-tech in the state and Dr. Jerry Parker and Delaware County Community College were integral to that achievement,” said Gary Smith, president and chief executive officer of the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), adding that Dr. Parker also was instrumental in helping to lead the charge to bring a community college to Chester County when none existed.
Over the years, the College has solidified its role in Chester County, spending millions of dollars on state-of-the-art education and training facilities and fostering strong relationships with manufacturers through trade and industry organizations such as CCEDC, which Dr. Parker formerly chaired; the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties, which manufacturers, the College and CCEDC help found in 2013; and the College’s joint partnerships and ongoing collaboration with the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s Technical High Schools and with the Chester County Workforce Development Board.
Today, of the College’s nine campuses, six are in Chester County, including the Downingtown Campus, an anchor facility which the College owns and operates that is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation. “Tonight’s award is a real affirmation, by the county, of Delaware County Community College’s acceptance as Chester County’s community college,” Dr. Parker said last night. “And, our role, as you’ve heard, is only growing as the 21st Century workforce requires higher and higher levels of education and skills, even for entry-level jobs. The associate’s degree has, indeed, become the new high school diploma.”
As the College celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, much of its success is attributable to Dr. Parker. The CCEDC honor is the latest of several recent accolades Dr. Parker has received for his quiet, yet determined leadership and vision both locally and nationally. Last October, he received the Northeast Region CEO Award from the Association of Community College Trustees, a national advocacy group. Last November, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce gave Dr. Parker its “President’s Award” at its annual banquet.