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Chad Allen will be the Choker Women’s Basketball coach for the coming season. If his name sounds familiar, he was assistant men’s basketball coach for the Chokers from 1998-2002, then coached at Montesano High School from 2002-2009 and recently completed a stint as head girls basketball coach at Hoquiam High School. He takes over coaching duties from Christine Nelson, who continues as volleyball coach for the Chokers. Welcome Coach Allen, and Go Chokers!


Congratulations – GHC’s Welding program officially received re-certification through the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) for the next three years, receiving a perfect score from the inspection team. In their final quarter of Welding, students take hands-on WABO welding certification tests, which are recognized in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Welding instructor Rod McDonald is a WABO certified examiner as well.


GHC is a Plus50 Community College. Watch for more news on our designation as a Plus50 college, offering new directions and career options for our population who are over 50 years of age. Bethany (Oszman) Barnard at the Whiteside Education Center will be the Plus50 completion coach, in addition to her current duties with Continuing Education programs offered at that location. Those qualifying for this program will explore possible new careers in healthcare, social services and education. Also, the cost savings for Community Special Interest classes will now start at 50, not at age 55.


Getaway Winner – Congratulations to Toni Phipps (wife of retired GHC Science faculty Jim Phipps) who won the GHC Foundation’s Mystery Getaway trip to New Orleans at last week’s fundraiser. More than $40,000 was raised for the Foundation’s World Class Scholars program.


Trailer Services and GHC CDL Program Form Partnership

CDL Program Partnership
Roger Holcomb, Operations Manager for Trailer Service Trucking Co., Inc. congratulating
new employee, Francisco Espinosa, recent Grays Harbor College CDL program graduate.

Trailer Services wants to expand their business.  With growth comes the need for more drivers.  Grays Harbor College’s CDL program and the company are piloting a new partnership to bridge the gap between the need for local drivers and the College’s newly trained truck drivers.  Normally newly licensed CDL drivers need to drive long haul/over the road for 1-2 years before they can apply for a local driving job.  This partnership will change that.

Trailer Services offers local, family wage jobs with benefits and retirement plans. Jobs that allow drivers to work closer to home. The company entered into this partnership with GHC to hire CDL students directly after graduation.  Trailer Services actually hired their first GHC CDL graduates 13 years ago. One of those hired has since retired and another has been training the newer drivers.  

The College has had a very successful truck driving program for many years, certified by the Department of Licensing as an approved training program as well as the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.  The training site is physically located at the Satsop Business Park and the program is taught by a full-time instructor, LaDonna Scott (a graduate from the training program) and a part-time instructional assistant, Cindy Ormiston.  The program consists of 375 hours, 215 hours more than the state required minimum of 160 hours.

As graduates from the CDL program were repeatedly discouraged when applying for local driving jobs, Nancy Estergard, CDL program advisor at the College, got back in contact with Trailer Services and several other local companies asking how the College could help the companies find qualified drivers to fill the local need.  She recently met with Sandy Tometich, (Administrative Assistant), and Galen McGinnis, (Operations Director) from Trailer Services, putting the pieces together for this pilot partnership. Trailer Services also worked with their insurance company to enable them to hire students. 

When asked about why Trailer Services was pursuing this pilot partnership, Tometich said “We have reviewed the curriculum for GHC’s CDL program and find it extremely thorough.  We want to work with a local program.  They (GHC) have the talent, we have the jobs and the ambition and resources to grow.  Trailer Services has a mandate of growth.  By utilizing GHC that growth can be realized. 

"Trailer Services offers local, family wage jobs with benefits and retirement plans. Jobs that allow drivers to work closer to home.

We want to hire drivers who want to retire with us,” she added. “We are a very family oriented company owned by a local family that believes in a family wage, offer full benefits, 401K, holiday pay, vacation, and the driver can be home almost every night.  It’s very hard to be a good parent if you’re on the road.  Trailer Services is willing to work around family obligations when they need to.”

McGinnis talked about how the partnership works.  Trailer Services personnel go to the training site and observe the CDL class.  Towards the end of their training, some graduates, who show potential and are truly looking for local jobs, will be encouraged to apply with Trailer Services. Once the application is received, evaluated, and the student is hired, they will ride and drive with a trainer to help hone their skills with additional training. When a new driver has passed all the competency skills required by Trailer Services, they will be given their own route and truck. 

McGinnis adds, “This is truly a unique opportunity for these students as well as this company.  While this is new ground to all of us, I am confident that the partnership is just the beginning of working with the College to keep local talent on the Harbor.  When it comes down to it, this is a much safer option for us than to hire someone who has received their CDL training elsewhere.  We know this training program and in 25 minutes we can be on the training site and see them actually driving.  Our local community has a long history of internal self-reliance.  This partnership gives evidence of that strength.”

Roger Holcomb of Trailer Services added “There is a big need for drivers.  When we hire someone who has graduated from the College program, we know they have received excellent training and have spent a large number of hours behind the wheel.  This makes our job to train them to work for us much easier.” 

Francisco Espinoza, a recent graduate from the GHC program, was the first hire from this pilot partnership.  He began his employment at Trailer Services in January. He said:  

"My experience training at GHC was phenomenal.  I am thankful for the instructors who challenged me, and for the amount of one on one instruction all of the students get.

The instructors listen to us; share their knowledge, points of view and experience with us, in order to improve our driving habits.  I am now more confident with the safety guidelines to be on the road in any weather conditions.  I am honored for the opportunity to drive for a local company, as I feel the need to help our community.  I am thankful for GHC’s recommendation to a successful and flourishing company that cares for their drivers to be able to go home to their family every night.” 

Another recent hire from the CDL program is Dayton Ackley, who commented, “Trailer Services offers a great opportunity for new drivers.  It’s great they are working with Grays Harbor College to provide local jobs where it’s hard to get your foot in the door.  You’re working with all aspects of hauling: from flatbed, containers, or dry van, the experience I’ve gained has been awesome.  The staff has been great and treat you like family,” Ackley added.

LaDonna Scott, the College’s CDL instructor is “looking forward to the opportunity to work with Trailer Services to ensure they get good, safe drivers and it gives our CDL students a chance to be able to work locally if they choose.” 

The College is also hoping to secure additional funding for more students to be able to enter the program.  Previously students were able to utilize Federal Financial Aid, trade act benefits, Workforce Investment Act funds, the Student Success Opportunity Grant from on campus, and retraining funds from multiple sources.  Currently the Federal financial aid funds are not able to be used for the CDL program.  The other funds still qualify. 

Now as the College and Trailer Services moves forward, they hope to see this pilot partnership become part of the “nature of doing business” and both hope to be able to expand the partnership with other local companies. 

For more information on this partnership and the Grays Harbor College CDL program, contact Nancy Estergard at 538-4012, or Marjie Stratton at 538-4011.


Chris Schumacher
GHC Welcomes new Women's Soccer Coach

Chris Schumacher has been hired to lead our new Women’s Soccer program.  Most recently, Chris has been the Head Varsity Coach at Elma High School.  He is very excited to lead our new program at GHC.  I feel Chris will do a great job getting our program started in the right direction.

Tyler Gaston, Grays Harbor College Athletic Director


Welcome Center opening soon
Welcome Center Opening for Winter Quarter

If Winter Quarter 2014 will be your first time at GHC, you will be learning about admissions, financial aid, enrollment, class registration and everything else involved in becoming a student at the new GHC Welcome Center.

The newly remodeled Admissions and Records Office in the HUB should be ready to do just that, welcome new students to the campus and provide a central location for new student services. Plus the friendly staff in the Welcome Center will be the go-to people for new students, ready to answer any question, help complete financial aid forms, arrange testing and advising appointments and provide moral support when the enrollment process may seem somewhat baffling.

"We have taken down the front wall to the Admissions Office," explains Nancy DeVerse, Associate Dean for Student Services, "And at the same time, reorganized our staff work spaces into an open, welcoming setup. New students can start at the Welcome Center and we will make sure their entire enrollment process is completed right here, in our new one-stop service center."


New Scholarships Awarded

More than 20 scholarships, were awarded recently by the College’s Foundation. The awards, totaling $45,000, are in addition to the more than $500,000 in scholarships presented last Spring for the 2013-2014 school year.

Several of the Fall scholarships are funded through the Forest C. and Ruth V. Kelsey Foundation, designated for Harbor students who are studying automotive, nursing, education and forestry.

Bi-Mart, one of the Harbor’s newest employee-owned retailers, sponsored a new scholarship for students studying business. According to the Bi-Mart announcement, the employees “hope to have a positive and powerful impact on the lives of the student recipients, with the long-term goal of helping GHC prepare students for employment.”

Two other new scholarships are the Kasey Lee Caskey Memorial Scholarship donated by his family to a student enrolled in carpentry or another vocational program; and a scholarship established by the daughter of Ronald Murray Catlin, which is open to all students, with a preference to those studying history.

Scholarship Application Process

Application Deadline: Monday, March 10th 2014

Grays Harbor College and the Grays Harbor College Foundation award hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships each year. If you want to be eligible for one of the more than 150 scholarships available, you will need to submit your application before the March 10th deadline.

The Fall Scholarship application process is available now for the 2014-2015 academic school year. Applicants will be considered for all scholarships they are eligible for, providing a valid application has been submitted and all required materials are included.

Scholarship Application Workshop Offered

If you would like some tips on creating a high quality and successful application, come to one of the GHC Scholarship Workshops offered by the TRIO Office. The next scheduled workshop is on Feb 26th from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM. Workshops take place in room 1512 on the first floor of Spellman Library. For more information, call 538-4076.

 Online Scholarship Application Home Page



Grays Harbor College is ranked as a Military Friendly School. This is significant for our military Vets who are transitioning back into civilian life. The College offers many programs and support staff to help our military students be successful. This year, we will have Tom Mills, serving as our Vetcorps Navigator. He can be reached at his campus office, 360.538.4174.

Washington community and technical colleges recognized as top military friendly schools

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Twenty-seven Washington community and technical colleges are among the top military friendly schools in the nation according to Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel transitioning to civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list released this week honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that do the most to ensure the success of military service members, veterans, and spouses.

Victory Media compiled the list through research and data-driven analysis of surveys from more than 10,000 federal Department of Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide, along with a survey of more than 4,000 student veterans. The results were independently audited by national accounting firm Ernst & Young. Washington’s community and technical colleges were among 1,818 schools nationwide to make the list.

Washington community and technical colleges on the Military Friendly Schools list are: Bates, Bellevue, Bellingham, Big Bend, Cascadia, Centralia, Clark, Clover Park, Columbia Basin, Edmonds, Everett, Grays Harbor, Green River, Lake Washington, Lower Columbia, North Seattle, Olympic, Peninsula, Pierce, Renton, Shoreline, Skagit Valley, South Puget Sound, South Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla and Whatcom.

Military Friendly School
Grays Harbor College offers many programs and support staff to help our military students be successful. This year, we will have Tom Mills, serving as our Vetcorps Navigator. He can be reached at his campus office, 360.538.4174.


Washington Monthly ranks GHC as best CC in the state
Grays Harbor College ranked as best Community College in the state

August 27, 2013

A new survey places Grays Harbor College as the top rated community college in the state, and 15th in the country.

The 2013 Washington Monthly college rankings are out and rank colleges throughout the country on a series of criteria. Four other Washington schools, Cascadia, Green River, Tacoma, and Highline Community Colleges all made the rankings for the top 50 in the country. The University of Washington was ranked as 13th for National Colleges. Overall, 14 Washington colleges were ranked in the Top 50 of their respective sizes.

The ranking from lists schools based on academic challenge, student effort, retention rates, and a number of other categories.

The listing is in response to a recent U.S. News & World Report, which ranked schools nationwide. This survey rated schools on what they are doing for the country, such as “improving social mobility, producing research, and promoting public service.”KXRO Newsradio

You can see the rankings at

This article is reprinted from


Bishop Center Season Tickets On Sale Now!
Tickets for the 2013-14 season are on sale now!



New Courses

The Diversifieds
The Diversifieds
is a publication of
The Diversity Center of GHC.

The Transfer Times

The Transfer Times
Winter 2014 edition


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