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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College News

Women in Manufacturing: It’s Not Just a Man’s Job

Industry-supported training program graduates and employs second graduating class in fastest growing industry in the area; Next sessions to enroll in training program Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 8

 

CONCORD, N.C. — No industry in this area is creating jobs in larger numbers and growing faster than manufacturing. Local manufacturers like Perdue Foods, S&D Coffee and Agility Fuel Systems have partnered with the Rowan and Cabarrus chambers of commerce and economic development leaders and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to build a training program designed to prepare applicants for jobs in the high-tech and growing field of manufacturing.

The second cohort in this eight-week training program recently graduated, with the majority securing employment almost immediately.

“Manufacturing jobs are among the fastest growing in the nation. In fact, 13.7 percent of private-sector jobs are in manufacturing,” said Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWORKS, Economic Development. “These are also well-paying jobs with benefits, with an average annual salary of $68,887.”

The growth and popularity of these clean, high-tech jobs has led to a high demand for qualified, competent employees to fill these careers. And these are not just jobs for men.

“At this point, our classes are about half women and half men. There is absolutely no reason a woman cannot become a Certified Production Technician and find a great job in the manufacturing field – gender is simply not a barrier,” said Donna Ludwig, program coordinator for the Certified Production Technicians classes and a business services account manager for the College.

Everyone who has been admitted into the program has thus far completed the certification, except for one young woman who received an offer she couldn’t refuse to pursue a career in welding.

Selected participants enroll in the program at no personal cost, thanks to support from local manufacturers.

“Our scholarship fund, financed by local employers, ensures that we can offer this training at no cost to the individual. They also plan to hire many of the graduates,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Individuals will train 20 hours per week for a total of eight weeks. Upon completion, they will be qualified for 90 percent of manufacturing jobs in our area.”

The training program does not merely scratch the surface – the material provided is detailed and extensive, which is especially helpful since most in the program do not have prior manufacturing experience.

Interestingly, while there has been a great deal of comradery and bonding among each class, the women in each class have bonded in particular.

“When we first started the class, the ladies sat together. It was nice to know we had each other’s support. We were also willing to speak up and ask questions, which I think ultimately put the guys at ease, too,” said Monica Barbee, a program graduate who secured employment before graduation.

Other female participants shared similar sentiments regarding the automatic bond they shared.

“I did feel like I had to prove myself a bit more,” said Charlotte Alexander, now employed with Agility Fuel Systems. “But we bonded together and have supported each other throughout the process.”

The program’s success speaks for itself. The vast majority of graduates’ secured employment prior to graduation, or within a few short weeks of graduating.

“I was concerned that not having prior manufacturing experience was going to hurt me when it came time to finding employment, but I was pleased to learn that employers weren’t dissuaded by lack of previous manufacturing experience,” said Alexander. “On every field trip we asked employers about that, and they weren’t concerned – they knew that this program would prepare us.”

The second class of graduates includes:

  • Antonio Beatty
  • Sherry Gobble
  • Patrick Goodnight
  • Samantha McManus
  • Deshon Mills
  • Monique Sharpless
  • Lisa Solomon
  • Phil Thomas

The next eight-week training program begins in January. Those interested must attend an orientation or Discovery Session:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115;
  • Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m., Cabarrus Business and Technology Center, 660 Concord Parkway North, Concord;
  • Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115.

Get details, including how to register for the session at www.ncmanufacturinginstitute.com. Dates, times, and locations of the Discovery Sessions are subject to change.

This coveted certification is validation to manufacturers that this individual has the skills and problem-solving abilities to be successful. The employers will still provide training on the actual equipment they use and will acclimate the new employee to the company’s culture, but the screening process has already been taken care of through the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute.

The Certified Production Technician program is part of a larger effort called the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, which aims to build a clear and achievable pathway for people to acquire skills in order to access good manufacturing jobs in the local community, as it is specifically designed to link and leverage the existing assets of Rowan and Cabarrus counties to solve a growing gap between regional job seekers and available positions.

Partner organizations in the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute had first “dibs” on the graduates and met them at a personalized interview fair. In preparation for that, graduates had mock interviews with Rowan-Cabarrus interviewers.

Posted in Career Readiness Certification, Corporate and Continuing Education, Corporate Training, Job and Skills Training | Tagged , ,

Enroll Now For Spring 2016 Classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Registration remains open until January 3, 2016; Classes begin January 11, 2016

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is now registering students for spring classes.

“We are so excited to bring a new face to the College. From I-85, you are beginning to see a welcoming ‘front door’ to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and our community,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

Spring class registration is currently available and will remain open until January 6 and classes begin January 11. New students interested in taking classes during the spring 2016 semester are encouraged to apply now with new applications for classes accepted through January 3.

“It is the mission of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to provide our students with the resources to reach their goals and move forward with their careers,” said Spalding.

Rowan-Cabarrus encourages prospective students to begin the application process today, before the College’s annual winter break at the end of 2015.

Rowan-Cabarrus is an affordable option with credits costing only $76 per credit hour – meaning that a semester’s worth of tuition would cost a little over $1,000. Enrolling at Rowan-Cabarrus has never been easier; students may apply online at www.rccc.edu/apply2016.

“This is a great time to get started at Rowan-Cabarrus!” said Tereysha Robles, 2015-2016 Student Government Association president. “With the variety of course offerings this spring, Rowan-Cabarrus has something for everyone and I encourage you to check it out.”

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers day, evening, weekend and online classes that provide a strong foundation and transferable credits for students advancing to four-year schools and helps adults get the additional training they need to start, change or advance careers. From the 18 year-old high school graduate looking for an economical solution to education to the adult pursuing GED completion courses or English-as-a-Second-Language classes – Rowan-Cabarrus has it all. Rowan-Cabarrus offers students the choice, flexibility, value, convenience and support needed to achieve their dreams.

For new students, financial aid assistance through the federal government takes time to process, so prospective students should act as soon as possible if they’re planning to utilize this assistance. For complete details, please stop in to the College’s one stop center, Navigation Station.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu/apply2016 or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

Posted in Record and Registration | Tagged ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Announces New Quality Enhancement Plan to Improve Student Success

College undergoes large-scale project to improve student outcomes with a focus on career planning titled SEEK: Student Education Empowerment Kit

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is undertaking a large-scale project with the goal of improving educational success for students.

2015 Convocation BeaconThe project, known as a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), focuses on career planning with the end goal of helping students complete their educational journey and prepare for their desired career field.

“We know that students who come to Rowan-Cabarrus with a clear career goal in mind are more likely to complete their educational journey with us successfully. Our aim with this project is to help more students explore potential career paths and determine their end goal sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, now requires colleges to develop and measure a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of their ongoing re-accreditation process.

As an opportunity and a stimulus for an institution to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness, the QEP focuses on an issue or issues the institution considers important to improving student learning. The plan launches a process that can move the institution into the future characterized by creative, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences for students.

In order to identify the issues the institution considered important, a series of surveys were completed by full- and part-time faculty, staff and students.

“When we reviewed the employee survey results, career readiness was identified as the area where they felt our students needed the most guidance,” said Donna Helget, English instructor and co-chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College QEP committee. “Our student surveys reflected a similar sentiment. It quickly became apparent that we should focus the QEP on career readiness.”

In order to support this goal, the College has developed four activities or connections to guide students in selecting a career path.

“Studies and research are indicating that students with a clear career goal are more likely to complete their education than students who do not have a career goal. If we can get students to set a goal and get the counseling they need to select a particular job, do an internship and then use our virtual resources to help with resumes and interview skills, we think we will have a prepared student that will complete his or her education successfully,” said Helget.

The career plan connection is available through the College’s English 111 and English 114 courses. Here, students are required to complete a job shadow project that allows them to explore a career field. Students must report back on their time shadowing and draw detailed conclusions about their impression on the field and their likelihood of entering that field upon completion of their education. Classes that have been piloting projects like this over the last year have experienced great success with many students securing employment or internships with those that they have shadowed.

Through the career counseling option, students are matched with staff that can guide them through career counseling and interest inventories. “Our team is comprised of trained counselors who are qualified to help our students assess and understand their personal issues, abilities, aptitudes, interests, and other characteristics,” said Misty Moler, director of counseling and career services at the College.

Students can also gain invaluable hands-on experience through the Work-Based Learning connection or internship placement.

“At Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, we realize the importance of work-based learning and internships,” said Dr. Michael Quillen, vice president of Academic Programs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Eighty-five percent of employers who host co-op/intern students are seeking future employees. Students who intern are invited to interview as opposed to students with just a degree who have no hands-on experience on their resume.”

Students currently seeking employment utilize the Virtual Employment Resource Center (VERC) option. They are able to access VERC through Blackboard, the primary learning management center used by the College. The VERC points students to interactive quizzes and related resources to help students build their interviewing, resume writing, and job searching skills.

In September, SACSCOC visited the College and reviewed the launch of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s QEP.

Though the project has been in pilot mode, it officially launched for Rowan-Cabarrus students this fall. The College is very excited to begin implementing the carefully planned project and collecting data on the success of its efforts. The QEP is titled “SEEK – the Student Education Empowerment Kit: Tools to Help you Soar.” Students receive access to the four connections that are part of the QEP when they begin their journey at Rowan-Cabarrus.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for the spring term now through January 3, 2016. Classes begin January 11, 2016.

Posted in Academic and Career Advising, College Advancement, Job and Skills Training, Student Services | Tagged , ,

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Issues All Clear

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s North Campus in Salisbury was under a precautionary lockdown on Thursday, October 29.

The lockdown, which lasted from about 1:45-3:28 p.m., was lifted and all North Campus activities and classes resumed.

At about 1:45 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus Community College officials heard what sounded like gun shots coming from the woods near the Building 400 area on the College’s North Campus in Salisbury. The College immediately called a lockdown, as directed by Salisbury Police Department.

The College notified students, faculty and staff via the emergency alert communications system with phone calls, emails, and text messages. Individuals on campus were encouraged to get to a safe, secure location, while those not on campus were encouraged to remain away from campus.

All other Rowan-Cabarrus campus locations were under normal operations. The College remained under lockdown until 3:28 p.m., at which time the North Campus was declared safe and secure.

“It is very important to us to maintain the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff. We are proud that we have maintained what we believe to be a safe and welcoming campus. Staff and faculty have been trained to handle a possible situation like this,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “It is my goal to keep our tradition of a safe campus on the forefront.”

“We appreciate the work of the law enforcement in protecting and investigating the reported gun shots. Their rapid response and attention to this college is very much appreciated,” continued Spalding. “I also want to thank our students, faculty and staff for their cooperation. I’m grateful to all who responded in accordance with our policies and procedures to keep us all safe.”

Posted in Uncategorized |

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Alumnus Credits College for Personal and Professional Success

Marketing director for local catering company DIVINE APPÉTIT CO. and independent branding consultant, Christina Helm, is thriving in local business world

 

RCCC Sept. - 03SALISBURY, N.C. — When Christina Helm began classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, it had been quite a while since she had stepped into a classroom. Helm had always dreamed of earning a college education, but her dream took a backseat to life.

Now, a successful business woman pursing her bachelor’s degree and a local catering and food service marketing director at DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., Helm credits her success to her time at Rowan-Cabarrus.

“Rowan-Cabarrus not only prepared me for the next steps in my educational and professional journey, they instilled in me a lost confidence. I am so grateful for my time there, and I am where I am today because of God and the investment Rowan-Cabarrus Community College made in me as an individual,” said Helm.

Growing up in West Virginia and attending boarding school in Kentucky, Helm always knew her education was important. She began working towards her associate degree while still in high school and earned an Associate of Arts in Religion just a year after high school graduation.

Helm planned to continue at a four-year college, but shortly after earning her degree, she married young and began her family. After moving to North Carolina with her husband, she took on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers, being a devoted stay-at-home mom.

After many years, Helm found herself as a single mother recuperating from divorce. Helm spent some time substitute teaching for occupational course of study students, and while she loved her new role, she was reminded about the importance of education. She realized her efforts to secure steady employment without an accompanying bachelor’s degree were futile. So, she found herself back at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College enrolling in business classes.

Once at Rowan-Cabarrus, Helm flourished. She had great teachers, awesome grades and got involved in student life extracurricular activities. She was even selected as part of the first community college group to participate in an international business competition. She was one of only fifty students in the world to participate in a business symposium with Louis Vuitton, where she finally found her niche.

“I am passionate about giving praise to Rowan-Cabarrus and to instructors like Karen Lynden, Robin Turner and Ginger Fox, who so willingly advised and invested in my academic success,” said Helm. “I was provided opportunities that I never had experienced in so many facets of my life.”

Helm completed her Associate in Applied Science in Business in the fall of 2014 and began working for DIVINE APPÉTIT CO. right away. The company, run by young entrepreneur and Johnson and Wales trained chef D’Andrea Lawson, caters local events and also serves delicious buffet lunches at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury.

Helm pioneered her position with the growing company. She saw the need for a strong marketing and branding expert and proposed the new position to Lawson.

“I came in organized and with a strong plan for growing their brand. Chef Lawson was impressed with my confidence and abilities and hired me shortly after my proposal,” said Helm.

Now, Helm finds her days packed with DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., consulting budding entrepreneurs on their new operations through Christina Helm Consulting, her marketing, design and brand strategy business, while also pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Catawba College.

For more information about DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., visit their website at www.divineappetitco.com/. They are currently booking catering for the upcoming holiday season. For more information on Christina Helm Consulting visit www.christinahelmconsulting.com.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College please visit www.rccc.edu/apply2016 or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for classes beginning later this fall and in January of 2016.

 

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to Offer Fitness Instructor Preparation Class

Class will equip students for the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exam to become group fitness instructors

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — This fall, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will offer a Fitness Instructor Prep class to provide students with the necessary knowledge to pass the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exam.

The course, offered October 26 through December 16 at the North Campus in Salisbury, will cover the various topics needed to pass the exam and train students as effective group fitness instructors.

“During this class, students will learn the essential skills and subjects required to be a group fitness instructor,” said Mary Rosser, who will be leading the course. “These topics include human anatomy, exercise and pregnancy, emergency procedures, as well as the business behind being an instructor.”

Upon successful completion of the class and exam, students will possess the credentials to lead their own group fitness classes.

In recent years, group fitness has increased in popularity and demand with exercise classes such as Zumba, CrossFit and yoga.

“The Fitness Instructor Prep class is an exciting opportunity to provide students with what they will need to not only pass the exam, but to pursue their passion in the healthcare industry,” said Sherie Neely, program manager of training services at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “This is a unique course – it’s unlike anything offered in the area and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on the community.”

Spots are still open, however, class size is limited. Registration cost is $180.

Other healthy living and fitness classes available this fall include:

  • Core Conditioning – Tuesdays, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., October 20 – December 8, North Campus
  • Total Body Conditioning – Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., October 20 – December 8, North Campus
  • Beginning Gentle Yoga – Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m., October 21 – December 9, North Campus
  • Beginning Yoga – Mondays, 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m., October 26 – November 30, South Campus
  • Resistance Band Fitness – Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., November 9 – November 18, North Campus; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., November 10 – November 19, South Campus

“Rowan-Cabarrus is proud to offer courses that promote healthy living,” said Neely.

For more information regarding these and other personal enrichment courses, including how to register, please visit http://www.rccc.edu/enrichment or call 704-216-7222.

Posted in Corporate and Continuing Education | Tagged

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation to Host the Seventh Annual Benefit Golf Tournament

Tournament will benefit student scholarships, technology and equipment updates and more

 

Golf Tourney 2013 1CONCORD, N.C. — The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation is pleased to hold its seventh annual Golf Classic on Monday, October 12, at Rocky River Golf Club in Concord. 

The Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation is committed to raising funds for the College, providing monetary resources for student scholarships, necessary updates to technology and equipment across the College’s campuses in Rowan and Cabarrus counties, and workforce development programs in areas such as advanced technology and healthcare.

“I hope you will join the Foundation this Columbus Day for a fun-filled and meaningful effort,” said Marty Richards, the foundation director. “The Golf Classic is one way you can give to our college and our students, many of whom would not be able to attend college without your continued care and support.”

Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Monday, October 12, and tee off begins at 1 p.m. Lunch and dinner will be emceed by WSOC-TV 9 sports director Phil Orban and weekend sports anchor Lawrence Gilligan.

Golf Tourney 2013 26The club, designed by renowned golf architect Dan Maples, is noted as the premiere public golf course in the greater Charlotte/Concord area.

Throughout the day, golfers will have the opportunity to win prizes by competing in contests for the longest drive and closest to the pin. After registering, players can hone their skills in a golf clinic or tour the Charlotte Motor Speedway. There will be a silent auction featuring a Kiawah Island getaway, a five course dinner for eight, a weekend escape at Wild Dunes and a five night stay in Columbus, Ohio, during the 2016 Memorial Tournament.

“The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation resources support the mission of the College and are channeled into scholarships and other student assistance, support for academic programming and capital needs, grants for veterans and other needs of the College and the local community,” said Carla Howell, chief officer of governance, foundation and public relations. “Over 100 students received emergency scholarship funds this year, which allowed them to remain in school in spite of critical situations that threatened to prevent their success.”

Spots are still available, however space is limited. To learn more, including how to register, visit www.rccc.edu/foundation or call 704-216-3876.

“We should all be very proud of the work the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation does to support the College,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of the College. “We sincerely appreciate the commitment of our Foundation Golf Committee Co-Chairs Paul Brown and Harold Earnhardt and know that an investment in the Foundation is an investment in the lives of our students. We ask that you join us in supporting this exciting annual event.”

Foundation Golf 7The Foundation would like to thank its supporting sponsors Fatz Café, Learning Environments and World Fibers for their generous contributions to this event.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Opens New One-Stop Shop for Student Needs

“Navigation Station” is the new central location at the College’s South Campus for visitors, future students and current students

 

052CONCORD, N.C. — A few years ago, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College began conceptualizing a one-stop space for its campuses to support all of the primary “Getting Started” activities and information services for the entire campus.

The College opened the North Campus Navigation Station in 2013 following two years of designing and planning, and six months of renovations, technology enhancements, staff training, and multiple moves.

Since that time, the College has implemented the same system at the South Campus in Concord and has officially opened a newly renovated, functional and welcoming version of the South Campus Navigation Station.

“We call it the Navigation Station because it’s the central location where visitors, future students and current students can get what they need to navigate their way forward,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Its purpose is to be an exemplary college services resource that facilitates access to and participation in college learning opportunities.”

The new space contains computers for students and future students to use in completing college applications, financial aid and scholarship applications, class registrations (continuing education or curriculum), tuition payments and fees online, college email access, and testing appointments.

The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Navigation Station is a welcome point where an individual can receive information, easily access student services and complete any necessary paperwork related to enrollment. The area consists of two components: a walk-up front desk and a call center. Whether a person walks in or calls in for services, customer service representatives provide information and support including step-by-step assistance with online applications and forms. The in-person Navigation Station includes a kiosk check-in system which allows the College to deliver services to guests and students in a systematic and timely fashion.

“Whether you need academic or career advising, help with financial aid, admissions support, or personal counseling, you can access these services through the Navigation Station,” said Gaye McConnell, vice president of student services and the student experience.

Future enhancements include expansion of testing center services to meet community needs for certification in business and industry and computer-based testing for GED completion.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu. The College is currently accepting applications for classes beginning in October and January.

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Industry-Supported Training Program Graduates and Employs First Graduating Class

Fastest growing industry in the area offers good jobs with emphasis on critical thinking and teamwork; Next sessions to enroll in training program Sept. 22 and Sept. 30

 

CPT GraduationCONCORD, N.C. — The first class of Certified Production Technicians recently graduated. The 12 graduates of this rigorous eight-week training program, part of the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute initiative, have gained knowledge and skills in safety, quality assurance, manufacturing processes and maintenance awareness.

“This group of students was outstanding and all will be dependable, reliable, and exemplary employees,” said Stan Honeycutt, instructor for the first class with over 25 years of manufacturing and business experience. “I admire them for their punctuality, dedication for the full eight-week training period, and their teamwork. They all helped and supported each other when preparing for the four individual Manufacturing Skill Standards Council assessments that they are required to pass in order to become a fully certified production technician.”

At this point, 8 of the first 12 graduates have secured employment, four of which had landed jobs immediately; the others found employment within just a few weeks.

No industry in this area is creating jobs in larger numbers and growing faster than manufacturing. Local manufacturers like Perdue Foods, S&D Coffee and Agility Fuel Systems have partnered with the Rowan and Cabarrus chambers of commerce and economic development leaders and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to build a training program designed to prepare applicants for jobs in the high-tech and growing field of manufacturing.

“Manufacturing jobs are among the fastest growing in the nation. In fact, 13.7 percent of private-sector jobs are in manufacturing,” said Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWORKS, Economic Development. “These are also well-paying jobs with benefits, with an average annual salary of $68,887.”

The growth and popularity of these clean, high-tech jobs has led to a high demand for a qualified workforce.

“It’s very exciting. The instructor provided examples of real-life experiences and has instilled common sense information about workplace safety,” said Monica Barbee, a program graduate who had secured employment before graduation.

Selected participants enroll in the program for free, thanks to support from local manufacturers.

“Our scholarship fund, financed by local employers, ensures that we can offer this training at no cost to the individual. They also plan to hire many of the graduates,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Individuals will train 20 hours per week for a total of eight weeks. Upon completion, they will be qualified for 90 percent of manufacturing jobs in our area.”

This coveted certification is validation to manufacturers that this individual has the skills and problem-solving abilities to be successful. The employers will still provide training on the actual equipment they use and will acclimate the new employee to the company’s culture, but the screening process has already been taken care of through the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute.

There are several skills that all manufacturers wish to see when they hire a new employee. These companies and workforce development partners that include the chambers of commerce, economic development leaders and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College have come together to develop a short-term training program that prepares students to work in a high-tech manufacturing environment.

The 12 graduates are:

  • Monica Barbee
  • Elvira Boger
  • Charlotte Alexander
  • Barry Shoemaker
  • William “Frank” Hargett
  • James Goodnight
  • Patrick Swercewski
  • Sebastian Bowden
  • Jerome Jennings
  • Darren Custer
  • Derrick Crook
  • John Caldwell

The next eight-week training program begins October 19, with another following in January 2016. Anyone interested in the training program is required to attend an orientation or Discovery Session:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus CBTC Campus, Concord, Room 9281
  • Monday, Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus North Campus, Salisbury, Room 4133
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115
  • Thursday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m., Rowan-Cabarrus NC Research Campus building, Kannapolis, Room 115

Get details, including how to register for the session at www.ncmanufacturinginstitute.com. Dates, times, and locations of the Discovery Sessions are subject to change.

The Certified Production Technician program is part of a larger effort called the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, which aims to build a clear and achievable pathway for people to acquire skills in order to access good manufacturing jobs in our local community, as it is specifically designed to link and leverage the existing assets of Rowan and Cabarrus counties to solve a growing gap between regional job seekers and available positions.

Partner organizations in the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute had first “dibs” on the graduates and met them at a personalized interview fair. In preparation for that, graduates had mock interviews with Rowan-Cabarrus interviewers.

This interview opportunity and preparation, combined with the knowledge and skills they have gained, have prepared them to be excellent employees for any of our local manufacturing companies,” said Donna Ludwig, program coordinator for the Certified Production Technician classes and a business services account manager for the College.

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Continues Efforts to Build Advanced Technology Center in Cabarrus County

College brings national Advanced Technology Center consultants to help build what will be the “crown jewel” of the region

 478A KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Cabarrus County residents approved the 2014 Rowan-Cabarrus bond referendum for an Advanced Technology Center with over 64 percent of the vote. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is continuing the effort to build the facility and educational programming that would make this a reality.

“We believe that this is the next step forward for our region – advanced technology and advanced manufacturing. An Advanced Technology Center will be a flagship to help attract employers to the region,” said Dr. Carol. S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “This will help us bring a higher level of training and meet the needs of the community, which are a big part of economic development.

The College recently brought national consultants from the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) to assist in the planning efforts.

“Our goal is to think outside the box and provide a facility that will enable the College to offer the most advantageous training possible. The facility and program offerings will bring great benefit to the College and to our service region,” said Spalding. “We want to create a place and programing that will support the businesses we do have and bring new ones to the area.”

The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers is a network of higher education resources that advocates and promotes the use of technology applications that enhance economic and workforce development programs and services. NCATC is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the national organization for all 1,167 public and independent community colleges across the United States.

“Industry input all along the way is emphatically important. During our interviews we spent a lot of time with representatives from the information technology, energy, manufacturing, construction and healthcare fields,” said J. Craig McAtee, executive director of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC). “Additionally, our process included conversations with other local colleges and economic development leaders. We want you to have the best Advanced Technology Center in the country! We will ultimately provide you with a detailed report that will hopefully be a blueprint you can use to spring forward the development of your new Advanced Technology Center.”

The interviews with industry leaders proved to be very enlightening, providing important guidance for both the present and the future. For instance, one of the initial takeaways from the consultants was the potential to start offering training that would support a multi-skilled industrial maintenance technician.

RCCC-Sept2013-0069ACurrently, the College already teaches many of the components, including electrical, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and Programmable Logic Controls (PLCs). What’s different, however, would be cross-training across all of these platforms. Nationally, this training is known as mechatronics. Mechatronics is a combination of a number of skills allowing employers to have access to employees who can troubleshoot multiple kinds of facility and equipment problems throughout a factory or business. The current training for such positions can be difficult because the equipment necessary for the training is sometimes spread across different locations.

“One of the goals of our interviews was to identify new and upcoming initiatives for the region. Industry leaders made recommendations about programs and training that they are unable to find elsewhere, which will enable the College to build an Advanced Technology Center for the community that will attract business from around the globe,” said Jack Roach, director of special projects at Florence-Darlington Technical College.

Some emerging opportunities noted by the consultants in their initial report include a fabrication lab, 3D Digital Design and additive manufacturing, diesel maintenance technicians, SmartGrid technicians, and alternative energy technicians.

In addition, the College invited a group of futurists from the local service region to participate in the conversations to capture new developments and improvements that could be incorporated in the new programming for an advanced technology and manufacturing facility. McAtee stated that this was the first time local futurists had been included to contribute to the conversation.

“This certainly brought added value to our experience. It takes true courage to build something based upon emerging trends. Rowan-Cabarrus is fortunate to have a leader like Dr. Spalding who is willing to be strategic and say ‘I don’t see it happening right now, but I believe it will be true in the near future,’” said McAtee. “This will set this region’s Advanced Technology Center apart.”

A site for the new Advanced Technology Center has yet to be determined, but was a key part of the discussions. In the next few weeks, the College will receive a draft report of the findings and recommendations from the consultants.

A key aspect of a smart, well-planned Advanced Technology Center is the ability to adapt the space to suit industry’s needs.

“As we built our Advanced Technology Center at Florence-Darlington Technical College, it was clear that we needed flexible space with movable walls and enough HVAC load and ventilation to accommodate the variety of equipment,” said Roach.

In addition to the funding from Cabarrus County, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation is supporting this effort and the College is exploring grants and donations to support the equipment for the training. The College will also consider partnerships with local and national suppliers for laboratories and programs.288A

“In North Carolina, it’s the responsibility of the local county commission to fund the construction and maintenance of community college facilities,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “The Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees is grateful to the citizens and to the Commission of Cabarrus County for affirming the need for a first rate community college.”

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is currently accepting applications for classes beginning in October and January.

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