Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions leader honored with state award

For Immediate Release:
January 30, 2024

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Pence at award ceremony
Bill Pence, left, with Virginia Community College System Chancellor David Doré

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has recognized Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions Operations and Registration Director Bill Pence’s outstanding contributions to workforce and career education. Pence received the Expanding Opportunities Award, the Hire Education Conference’s biggest honor, during its annual awards banquet in December.

“In my view, this awards event is more than just a highlight of the Hire Education Conference,” VCCS Chancellor David Doré said. “I believe it is essential to recognize the extraordinary work that our colleagues are doing and the partnerships they have formed…all in the service to the people and employers of Virginia.”

Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions Vice President Jeanian Clark said Pence is responsible for numerous systems and processes supporting students, including Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions’ team being the first in the VCCS to start using online registration.

“He has an exceptional heart for serving our customers, the students, and removing all barriers and obstacles impeding prospective students from engaging with the community colleges,” Clark said. 

Additionally, Pence was instrumental in bringing FANTIC funding to Virginia’s community colleges, as well as in bringing the Workforce Credential Grant to fruition. And, his expertise was crucial during the pandemic.

“Bill was instrumental in helping our students return to campus as quickly and safely as possible,” said Clark. “Workforce Solutions students were back on site less than 90 days after the start of the pandemic. He made sure we were there to serve our students and support them through those unprecedented times and challenges.”

Clark shared that Pence’s business and public service background shine through in how well he has trained his staff. She said that in addition to his having served on Woodstock Town Council for 15 years and the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors for four years – one year as chairman – Pence has been with Rotary for nearly 40 years, and has hosted foreign exchange students and summer league traveling baseball players in his home.

“He emulates ‘service above self’ and the Virginia Community College system is a direct beneficiary of his extraordinary commitment to service,” said Clark.

For his part, Pence was humble about the recognition.

“I was very flattered to be awarded the chancellor’s award,” he said. “I think it’s more of a reflection of the great team I work with and all the good things we do, and not just me individually.”


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.