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Sasquatch Celebrity - Meet Joe!


Sasquatch Celebrity: Joe Witmer (July 2023)


Joe's photoJoe spent 25 and a half years in the Air Force and had the pleasure of retiring from the Air Force in August of 2007. Needing a job to supplement his income and support his family of six, he began a 4-year career as an Assistant Manager with Dollar Tree.  After four years of working full-time for Dollar Tree, Joe worked as an Employment Assistant at Career Path Services for 16 months and then in Veterans Services for a year at Goodwill Industries.  
Joe always wanted to come to work for CCS because he was an Education and Training Manager when he retired from the Air Force.  Over the Summer of 2014 Joe was given the opportunity to work at SCC as the Workforce/Scholarship Funding Program Assistant.  Joe has been in what is now known as Workforce Transitions the entire time he has been at SCC.  Joe takes care of all non-credit funding and the Basic Skills Tuition Waivers for SCC.  He helps award funds from the CCS Foundation Basic Skills Scholarship and supports the ABE students with bus passes, parking passes, GED Test Codes and a variety of other support services.
Learn more about Joe – and his love for Theater and the Arts – below!
What CCS Foundation program or scholarship do you support and why?

I will start by answering the second part of this question because it is not important to me that I support the Impact Fund but the CCS Foundation in general. I have been with SCC since Fall Quarter 2014. At that time, we had the CCS Foundation Basic Skills Scholarship, the Women Helping Women Scholarship, and the Project Self Sufficiency Scholarship. Now we have the CCS Foundation Basic Skills Scholarship, which supports our ABE students.
When I started to help award funds from these CCS Foundation Scholarships, I worked directly with Jean McNeilly to support our students. I also met Heather Beebe-Stevens when she was acting Executive Director and shortly after that I had a conversation with former Chancellor Johnson.  It was at that time I told them, the most important support we can give our students is around transportation.  How do our students get to one of our locations if they don’t have the funds or means to do so? I believe of course that our students’ basic transportation need is the most challenging and that supporting our students this way leads to student success. Since 2015, we have processed thousands of scholarship vouchers (applications) for bus passes, parking passes and a variety of other areas and the impact has been enormous!  This could not have happened without the support of Jean, Heather, and the rest of the CCS Foundation Team!

Why do you choose to donate to the Foundation?

I choose to support the Foundation because at its core the Foundation’s goal is to support every student at CCS.  Working in the Workforce Transitions Office, and with the ABE Division, we can affect all students holistically!  I try to connect every student I talk to who needs monetary support with Christine because I know she will go out of her way to help a student even if it doesn’t involve funds.  Every student who comes into our office needs something and the best way to assist a student is to promote the awesome work our CCS Foundation does. A lot of this work is not seen by our students, but I know first-hand what this impact is!

What is something people don’t know about you? Hobby?

Joe's theatre videosThe story I like to tell our students is to not give up on their goals (dreams) and to stay the course.  I retired from the Air Force in 2007.  When I retired, I set a goal of coming to work for CCS because I was an Education and Training Manager when I retired.  I had already been sending Military Members to school at CCS and I liked what I saw in the Community Colleges of Spokane.  I have an MBA with a focus in Human Resource Management, but my passion is people and helping them see in themselves what others don’t.  After six years of applying, two times a year, at CCS, I was given the opportunity to be a part of this institution that I love. So, my motto is “Never Give Up!”
I would have to say my hobby is Theater and the Arts.  The same time I came to work for SCC, I was coaxed into being a part of the cast for Spokane Children’s Theater in the Wizard of Oz, as Uncle Henry.  I had never been in a cast because I had always been behind the scenes supporting my adult children at CYT Spokane.  I am thankful I took the chance and have now been in 10 shows with my daughter Lyndsey and I have helped on crew for two others.  My most memorable role was as FDR in Annie at SCT 2015.


Sasquatch Celebrity is a monthly feature that introduces the CCS staff who support the CCS Foundation's students and programs.

Posted On

7/13/2023 11:01:28 AM

Posted By

Leah Welki


 CCS Donor Spotlight Education

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