An insightful philosopher notes that one of the most rewarding experiences available to human beings is the opportunity to participate in creating a productive enterprise before all the fundamental parameters of the project have been established, tested, and studied to death so that anybody can replicate the process. This was the challenge GTCC founders pursued in 1958 when, as representatives of government, business, and education, they partnered to compile the study that launched GTCC's embryonic forerunner, the Guilford Industrial Education Center.
This history traces the progenitor's venture to establish a basic training center through a meticulous recounting of trials, tribulations, and intense and acrimonious debates. It enables the reader to observe how boards of diverse and politically appointed individuals partnered to cope with the capricious industrial transition that roiled the Piedmont Triad during the second half of the 20th century and haunted the state into the millennium. It further represents the most comprehensive effort that has been mounted in decades to dispel the widespread stereotypical, often dismissive attitude that tends to relegate North Carolina's community colleges to second-rate educational status even though the system accepts more than 800,000 students a year.