Meet our Members | Benjamin Rand, Tarrant County College District
This week for Meet our Members Monday, we introduce you to Benjamin Rand, Associate Vice Chancellor at Tarrant County College District and a new North Texan. Read more below to find out what has impressed him about his new home region, where you’ll find him while on vacation and what, as a recent transplant, he sees as an opportunity for growth in our region.
Benjamin Rand, Tarrant County College District
What would your company like to see happen in North Texas? Tarrant County College (TCC) understands that to meet the current and anticipated workforce development needs of the North Texas region, all interested constituents must work together. That means, we need to build and maintain a strong and collaborative Workforce Development partnership between private sector companies and higher education institutions.
How has your organization made an impact on the North Texas region? Last year, TCC’s annual operations put approximately $444.8 million into the North Texas economy. Since the doors first opened at our South campus nearly 50 years ago, TCC has awarded 97,135 degrees and certificates to 83,478 students. Had it not been for TCC, it is likely that many of our graduates would not have had the opportunity to attend college
What is the number one piece of advice you would offer to an aspiring leader? Leaders lead toward a mission and they do so to meet the needs of the constituents they serve. As a leader, your greatest responsibility is to listen to what your team, clients, industry and mission are saying in order to capture their insights and incorporate into a clear point of direction. In your actions stay focused, act definitively, keep directions clear and always communicate with your core team.
What would you attribute your success to in business? I’ve been fortunate to have good mentors at an early age who encouraged me that I could do it, whatever “It” was. This allowed me to research an event, a business, a strategy and take a risk if needed based upon my understanding of the subject. Risk and reward are my neighbors and we share a strong but short fence; I look over often and decide whom I’m going to visit, but only after I’ve done my research. I have always seen the voids, the market segments that could be filled with a simple entry point. To me, business feels like cooking. When you open your fridge and peer in, you may see several ingredients that could become any number of satisfying meals. The question at hand is always, “What am I in the mood for and how much effort do I want to put into it ?”
What is your favorite spring activity? I love to sail. My wife and I (along with many of our friends) will fly somewhere tropical, like Belize or the British Virgin Islands, and charter a 50’ Catamaran for a week. While sailing from island to island, I’ll live and cook aboard, trolling a lure behind us for dinner.
In your opinion, who is the best super hero? I’ve always been a fan of G.I. Joe. Now some may say he’s not a true super hero. As a kid, however, I saw how he defeated the evil Cobra and that always resonated. He is the “Real American Hero” (Go Joe!)
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for our region? I’ve been a fan of the Alliance Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ No. 196) from the moment I landed in Texas. The sheer expansiveness and diversity of companies that can participate in this opportunity, and that we at Tarrant County College can train, certify, and serve, is astounding. I see this region as a hub for manufacturing and distribution companies reaching from Mexico to the entire United States and throughout Canada, and I know TCC would welcome the opportunity to help educate and train the employees to serve these companies.
What are some of our challenges? As a transplant from Manhattan who never owned a car until he was married, I’ve seen how public transportation plays a significant role in a company’s ability to recruit employees. It seems as though public transportation in Northern Texas could be significantly increased. As population growth increases and the demand for hourly labor (which may not have the ability to own and operate a vehicle) is on the rise, employers need a means by which their employees can regularly and punctually arrive to the work site.
What do you think our region should focus on for continued success? The foresight by North Texas to invest heavily upon its infrastructure is evident as you try to use your GPS and it shows that you’re in a field because the road was just built or is currently being expanded. North Texas is a transportation oasis with its enormous international airport, massive North American Rail system and colossal super highways connecting both coasts and several border crossings. The region understands that business needs to flow, needs to have quality trained employees which TCC will always help provide and needs surrounding municipalities with leadership who understand these guiding lights of success. I say, continue the great work and I look forward to helping us all achieve these goals.