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ICC Global a Proud Partner of Big Sandy’s EPIC Program Page Title

Tim Hites is a believer in community colleges’ work with internships. 

Hites, the president of ICC Global in Prestonsburg, Ky., is a graduate of the former Prestonsburg Community College (now Big Sandy Community and Technical College) and once did a co-op at a bank. 

That experience, coupled with a burning desire to form a company with a global reach in eastern Kentucky, led to the creation of Abacus Computer Store, Inc., now ICC Global, in 1983. 

“Our work is primarily remote, so we have the ability to attract and retain talent from all over the world,” said Hites. “With that being said, we want to try and attract and retain as much local talent as we can. We know the work ethic and values of eastern Kentucky is very attractive to our global clientele.” 

ICC Global partnered with Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s EPIC (Enhancing Programs for IT Certifications) program last year in an effort to create internships that could lead to viable pathways to/for employment. 

EPIC provides concentrated and accelerated stackable credentials in Information Technology and Medical Information Technology.  The program also offers a credit for prior learning provision, which allows students to test out and receive credit for previous work experience. 

“EPIC is a program that is driven by employers and focused on specific certifications and credentials that lead to employment opportunities,” said Christina Lowe, project team lead for BSCTC’s EPIC program. “Internships provide practical experience for our students to not only apply what they have learned, but also to build on their skills through working with industry-leading professionals.”

Rondall Stewart, a lead network engineer with ICC Global, introduced the EPIC program to Hites. 

“Rondall is a proponent of the program and its benefits to both students and employers,” added Hites. “I’m glad we partnered with EPIC because it has evolved into a critical component of our recruiting process.” 

Employer engagement is important, especially in the ever-changing fields of Information Technology and Medical Information Technology. 

“Employer engagement keeps our program on the cutting edge,” said Lowe. “By keeping open and meaningful dialogue between our program and employers, like ICC Global, we are training a workforce that is ready to do the job. This, in turn, assists our partners, by eliminating training and other costs associated with hiring new employees.” 

ICC Global also serves on the EPIC Workforce Employer Leadership Council, which serves as an advisory board for the grant.  Lowe said their participation, as well as others, is important in keeping curriculum up to date and relevant in the ever-changing world of information technology jobs. 

“It is important that we keep our programming relevant to our employer partners,” said Lowe. “Their input is valuable and we use that information to make sure we are delivering a highly-trained and confident employee to the workforce.” 

To learn more about the EPIC Program at BSCTC, contact Christina Lowe at (606) 788-2838 or email clowe0059@kctcs.edu.