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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College News

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Offering Several Health Occupation Programs

Students are provided additional education and skills needed to be employed in the medical, nursing and allied health fields

 

RCCC-109-350x525SALISBURY, N.C. — When Ashley Honeycutt graduated from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College a few short years ago, she didn’t know she’d already have her dream job.

Today, Honeycutt is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Salisbury Pediatric Associates. She graduated from Rowan-Cabarrus in 2008 as a registered nurse and went on to graduate from Duke University with her master’s degree.

“I pretty much have my dream job – I love working with kids. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, it is so rewarding to help kids go from sick to well,” said Honeycutt.

Honeycutt chose to pursue her nurse aide I certification while still in high school.

“One great component of choosing the Rowan-Cabarrus nursing program, especially while you’re in high school, is that you can get your nurse aide certifications and immediately start working. Then, you can continue your education while working, essentially, getting years ahead of those who simply attend four-year schools for their nursing degrees,” said Honeycutt.

Not only is the certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification a prerequisite for nursing school admission, it also provides a way for students to work in the healthcare field and pay for college.

“I had a great experience at Rowan-Cabarrus. It’s a challenging program, but thanks to some amazing instructors, you can learn a lot and be successful,” said Honeycutt.

Rowan-Cabarrus nursing programs have a well-documented track record of success in both student performance and program recognition.

“Rowan-Cabarrus is committed to helping students. Through partnerships with local high schools and four-year colleges like the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Rowan-Cabarrus can facilitate your nursing career right here,” said Wendy Barnhardt, dean of Health and Education Programs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

In addition to the nurse aide certification course that set Honeycutt on her path, the College offers a variety of health occupations occupation courses that are designed to provide aspiring health care workers with the additional education and skills needed to be employed in the medical, nursing, and allied health fields. These programs are designed to prepare students for employment in hospitals, long-term facilities, and home health agencies.

The calendar includes the following health occupations courses scheduled to be held this fall:

  • Activity Director – Mondays and Thursdays 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., September 14 – November 19, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center
  • CPC Certification – September 14 – December 8, online
  • Nurse Aide I Course – Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., October 6 – February 23, West Avenue Center
  • Pharmacy Technician – Mondays 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., October 12 – January 27, South Campus
  • Nurse Aide I Refresher – Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., October 13 – November 12, West Avenue Center
  • Nurse Aide I Course – Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m., October 20 – February 25
  • Nurse Aide I Course – Fridays and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., November 6, 2015 – March 25, North Campus
  • Nurse Aide I Course – Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., December 4 – April 22, North Campus

“No other field is changing faster than healthcare. This makes it an incredibly exciting career profession. In fact, nursing is one of the most lucratively attractive, gratifying careers,” said Dr. Michael Quillen, vice president of academic programs. “As one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., nurses are in higher demand than any other healthcare worker in the industry.”

Like other regions across the country, Rowan and Cabarrus counties face a shortage of certified healthcare professionals.

“Be a part of taking care of our community. Explore the healthcare field,” said Barnhardt.

For more information about health occupations courses at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, including how to register and a constantly updating course schedule, please visit www.rccc.edu/healthoccupations or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

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Enroll at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for Fall Mini-Semesters

The College is still offering many unique options like mini-semester and hybrid courses this semester

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is open, offering classes and registering students for a whole line-up of mini-semester and hybrid course offerings that start this fall.

While the construction at the North Campus may seem daunting, the College is very enthusiastic about the monumental changes and unwavering in their commitment to continue providing a plethora of course offerings to the community.

Thanks to hybrid course offerings, the College has four-week classes available offering three credits. Four-week hybrid classes begin September 24, eight-week classes begin October 19, and the last set of four-week classes begin November 3.

The hybrid format allows students to do some work independently at their convenience outside of the classroom and optimizes their time on campus, which is optimal for students who have busy lifestyles

“Judging from the courses’ popularity, our students find that hybrid options provide the best of both worlds,” said Dr. Michael Quillen, vice president of academic programs. “You still get the face-to-face interaction that helps many students fully learn, but students have the flexibility to do some of the coursework outside of the classroom. Students can adjust their busy schedules to do this work when it is most convenient for them.”

However, for students who prefer a completely traditional class, the College’s eight-week mini-semester classes are often in-person and simply condensed into half the time.

The mini-semester includes courses such as Expository Writing, Introduction to Computers, Argument-Based Research, Western Civilization, Advanced Word/Information Processing, Psychology and Sociology, which can count toward their required coursework.

“The great thing about the mini-semester is that it gives students the opportunity to earn full course credits in half the time,” said Spalding.
“Between the mini-semester and our continuing education classes that are provided on a rotating basis year-round, students can enroll in courses at any time to get the education they need.”

Hosting day, evening, weekend and online classes, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College provides a strong foundation and transferable credits for students advancing to four-year colleges 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 for their first two years of college to the adult pursuing an associate’s degree, GED completion courses or English-as-a-Second-Language classes – Rowan-Cabarrus has it all.

“We are doing our very best to bring education to the students. It’s our ‘meet them where they are philosophy,’” said Spalding. “While it’s not possible for every program, our overarching goal is to be available and accessible to students. That’s why our students can now earn several degrees entirely online. It’s why the high school equivalency classes are offered morning, afternoon, evening, online and at multiple locations across the College’s service area.”

Rowan-Cabarrus is an affordable option with credits costing only $72 per credit hour – meaning that a semester’s worth of tuition would cost around $1,000. Enrolling at Rowan-Cabarrus has never been easier; students may apply online at www.rccc.edu/apply2015.

Additionally, 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.

“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 fall, I know Rowan-Cabarrus has something for everyone and I encourage you to check it out.”

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

 

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Receives Generous Donation from Wells Fargo

Funds will support the College’s and Wells Fargo’s mission of advancing workforce development in the local area

 

Wells check w Ambassadors

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation is proud to announce a $12,500 donation from Wells Fargo of Cabarrus and Rowan counties.

Wells Fargo has been a strong proponent of the College, with support growing annually. Wells Fargo of Cabarrus and Rowan counties sponsored the College Foundation’s 2015 Scholarship Luncheon, which raises scholarship money for well deserving, hard-working students. They are slated to sponsor the Foundation’s 2016 Changing Lives Scholarship Luncheon as well.

When Wells Fargo decided to donate a part of their marketing budget to advancing workforce development in this region, Rowan-Cabarrus was the obvious choice recipient.

“At Wells Fargo, we believe that the future and stability of our economy is really based on a well-educated student,” said Tim Elleby, market president of Cabarrus and Stanly counties Wells Fargo. “The bottom-line is public and private partnerships in education are paramount not only to our communities but to creating a competitive workforce and a sustainable economy for generations to come.”

The College is honored to not only receive this donation but to receive recognition for their advancement of workforce development in the community.

“A significant component of Rowan-Cabarrus’ mission is tied to the economic and workforce development of our region. The College provides the region with educational programming, targeted toward the advancement of a modern cutting edge workforce, which meets both current employment training needs and future projected employment trends for the communities it serves,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The College will utilize the funding to support ongoing workforce development programs in areas such as advanced technology and healthcare. Specifically, funds may be used for equipment purchases necessary in the training of future workers in technology and healthcare.

“We are proud to support Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and all that they do for our community. We share a deep desire to develop our local workforce,” said Heather Crawford, market president of Rowan Wells Fargo.

Every gift to Rowan-Cabarrus, no matter the size, makes a difference. There is always an extraordinary need for unrestricted funds which provide the College with the flexibility to meet its highest priorities and most urgent needs.

“This is the largest donation we have had to date from Wells Fargo and we are so appreciative. Wells Fargo provided the donation through their marketing budget – a rarity since donations of this size typically come from other foundations. This shows that we are not only fostering a great relationship with the company, but that they are committed to promoting economic development and supporting the College’s mission of advancing workforce development,” said Carla Howell, chief officer of governance, the foundation and college relations for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

For more information on the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation, visit www.rccc.edu/foundation.

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Student Leaders Recognized

Student Ambassador Program includes outstanding students who represent the College

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College proudly recognized its latest group of student leaders at a recent board of trustees meeting.

The Rowan-Cabarrus Student Ambassador Program is a group of outstanding students who are selected to represent the College in multiple capacities. Student ambassadors reach out to prospective students, conduct campus tours, participate in and help promote various college events and assist with the successful transition of new students to the campus.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College began the program in 2010 with its first class of student ambassadors. The program has grown to include a robust leadership development program.

“I’m very proud of the Rowan-Cabarrus Student Ambassador Program and excited to welcome this new group of leaders into the program’s ranks,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “We believe that developing our students into community leaders and active citizens is a part of our job at the College. These students will definitely leave Rowan-Cabarrus equipped to lead in their careers and communities.”

The 2015-16 Rowan-Cabarrus Student Ambassadors include:

  • Delfina Erochenko of Concord, Associate in Arts
  • Teresa Lowenstein of Mecklenburg, Associate in Arts
  • Patrick Magana of Salisbury, Associate Degree in Radiography
  • Marco Mercado of Salisbury, Associate in Arts
  • Rachel Morgan of Concord, Associate in Arts
  • Eric Torres of Concord, Associate in Arts

Student Ambassadors are dedicated to student success, diversity and strengthening student connections. Ambassadors enjoy working with people, are committed to creating change in their respective communities, and are excited about sharing their experiences at Rowan-Cabarrus with others.

The program is supported by the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation and the Student Life Department. Student ambassadors earn a scholarship for their service to the College.

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

 

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Employer Spotlight is back with a Focus on Agility Fuel Systems

Community members will have the opportunity to meet with Agility representatives to learn about the company and current career opportunities

 

SALISBURY, N.C. – The employer spotlight session at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is back, this time with a focus on Agility Fuel Systems.

“Employer spotlights at Rowan-Cabarrus give local residents the opportunity to learn more about specific companies and industries. Presenting companies are often candid about their hiring process and their current talent needs,” said Keri Allman, account manager for local businesses at the College.

On Monday, September 14, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the College’s North Campus in Salisbury, representatives from Agility Fuel Systems will share information on how interested candidates can apply for open positions.

“Agility Fuel Systems is the leading provider of highly-engineered and cost-effective natural gas fuel systems for heavy duty commercial vehicles,” said Shawn Adelsberger, general manager at Agility. “We excel in products and people. Our associates are highly trained and offered competitive wages as well as comprehensive benefit packages including health care and matching 401K.”

The company also boasts a great campus in Salisbury with a team member central area including amenities like ping pong, foosball, and large flat screen television. Team members can also enjoy a brand new cafeteria and locker rooms, including showers. The plant itself is climate controlled.

While the company is always searching for talent for a variety of roles, this time they are focusing on applicants with either fabrication background using and programming computer numerical control (CNC) machines, or, automotive Class “A” finish painting experience.

“We need operators that are skilled when it comes to working on CNC machines and we need programmers that have the ability to set new network parameters,” said Adelsberger.

The company has already partnered with Rowan-Cabarrus in the past for an employer spotlight and has seen great results in the talent pool they met with.

“We thought the best way to reach potential future team members with experience in CNC machining and automotive finish painting was to host another spotlight at Rowan-Cabarrus,” said Adelsberger.

Employer spotlights at the College are part of a larger effort aimed at providing career services to adults in Rowan and Cabarrus counties.

“Our services help workers assess their skills, aptitudes, training and academic credentials, and future career interests to develop an action plan for career growth,” said Allman. “Whether you are attending an employer spotlight or coming in for resume guidance or interview preparation, we are here to help!”

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 eight-week classes beginning in October and all spring classes.

 

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New Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Student Government Association President Announced

Tereysha Robles will serve as the 2015-16 SGA President

Robles_022

SALISBURY, N.C. — Tereysha Robles of Salisbury, an Office Administration and Medical Office Administration major, is the new Student Government Association (SGA) President at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“We are proud to welcome Tereysha as an ex officio member of the College’s Board of Trustees,” said Carl M. Short, Chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees.

Robles was introduced as the 2015-16 SGA leader at a recent Board of Trustees meeting. Originally born in Manati, Puerto Rico, she moved with her family to Pawtucket, Rhode Island where she lived for fourteen years before relocating to Salisbury.

During her first year at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, it was suggested by a high school friend that Robles attend a SGA meeting. “I never thought that joining a club would open up endless opportunities for me. Since then, the leadership programs offered at Rowan-Cabarrus have helped me gain life skills that reach far beyond the classroom,” said Robles.

Robles has been active in other student organizations as well. She has a passion for the arts and painting in particular. She is bilingual and is continuing to grow her leadership skills in the area of communication. She is excited about the opportunity to share her thoughts clearly and is learning to speak up and speak out on behalf of her fellow students.

Robles was recently accepted to the North Carolina Community College Student Leadership Development Program.

“Serving as the SGA President will allow me to demonstrate and share with other students what a little motivation and a lot of growth can do for one’s success,” said Robles.

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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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Provides Free Seminars for Local Small Businesses

Whether starting a small business or growing an existing business, the College can help develop a plan of action for lasting success

SBC Whole Foods 2KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is offering numerous seminars this fall for local small business owners through the Small Business Center. Seminars are provided free-of-charge and open to the public.

Local residents like Kelli Swick, entrepreneur and owner of Queen of Oats, have found success through the Small Business Center. Swick started the business just two years ago and has been on a whirlwind of success since. She was named a finalist in the national “Martha Stewart American Made” contest and most recently her wheat-free granola, protein bars, and breakfast cookies were put on the shelves at Whole Foods, a significant accomplishment.

“The Small Business Center has been an essential part of my business from its beginning. The Small Business Center counselor equipped me with the tools and resources I needed to get Queen of Oats off the ground. I came out of my meetings invigorated and more determined to succeed, and I will continue to seek counseling at the College’s Small Business Center,” said Swick.

Seminars include basic topics like “How to Start a Business” and “How to Write a Business Plan” to more advanced topics like “Growing Your Business with Social Media” and “Leadership Levels for Small Business Owners.”

“The Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College provides business resources in Concord, Kannapolis, Salisbury and surrounding towns. Whether starting a small business or growing an existing business, the Small Business Center can aid in developing a plan of action for lasting success,” said Barbara Hall, director of the College’s Small Business Center. “Our goal is simple – to provide high quality small business education and relevant, comprehensive assistance to you.”

The calendar includes the following seminars held at the College’s North Campus in Salisbury:

  • Selling Techniques for Small Business Owners: Three-Part Series – Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 22 – October 6
  • Managing Stress and Preventing Burnout for Small Business Owners – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 24
  • Create the Perfect Brand for Your Business: From Idea to Image – Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 13
  • Your Small Business Taxes – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – October 15
  • How to Find Your Customers – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 29
  • Growing Your Business with Social Media – Thursday – 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., November 5
  • Introduction to Hootsuite Basic for Small Business Owners – Wednesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., November 18
  • Basics of Bookkeeping – Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., December 8

The calendar includes the following seminars held at the College’s Cabarrus Business & Technology Center Campus in Concord:

  • Growing Your Business with Social Media – Wednesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 2
  • Leadership Levels for Small Business Owners – Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 15
  • The Artist Entrepreneur: How to Earn More – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 17
  • Marketing Your Business – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 1
  • How to Write a Business Plan – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 8
  • Grant Writing 101: Elements of a Winning Proposal – Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 20
  • Design Your Business Website with WordPress: Two-Part Series – Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., October 27 and November 3
  • Financing Your Business – Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., November 10
  • How to Start a Business – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., November 12

For more information on the seminars including course descriptions, specific classroom locations and how to register, visit www.rccc.edu/sbc/.

The Rowan-Cabarrus Small Business Center can also help you access data on hundreds of industries, information needed to make marketing decisions or to write a business plan. A small business counselor can help you find information about your consumer preferences, use of social media in your industry, profit margins and much more. Make a free, one-on-one counseling appointment today at www.rccc.edu/sbc/.

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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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Partnering to Offer Job Fair Preparation

Job FairWorkshops will prepare local job seekers for the 300 JOBS NOW! Job Fair

 

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is partnering with NC Works Career Center Rowan, the City of Salisbury and the City of Salisbury Parks and Recreation to offer a day of workshops aimed at preparing local job seekers for the upcoming “300 JOBS NOW! Job Fair.”

The workshops will be divided into sessions and cover the following topics: Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills and Personality, Communication & Conflict Skills.

“The goal of the workshops is to maximize the job fair experience for anyone participating through knowledge and preparation,” said Tammara Walker, a career services counselor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The workshops will be held Thursday, August 20, at the Miller Recreation Center in Salisbury. Sessions will be held from 12:00 – 1:15 p.m., 1:30 – 2:45p.m., 4:00 – 5:15p.m. and 5:30 – 6:45 p.m.

“The sessions are arranged in a group format so we are able to accommodate larger amounts of job seekers. Each of the three topics will be covered at each of the four sessions so folks will be able to attend sessions based on their busy schedules – and they have the opportunity to cover all three of the unique topics,” said Walker. “We are doing everything we can to make sure that anyone who wants to attend is able. We even have complimentary child care for ages four to 12!”

Workshop attendees will have a leg up on the competition when they bring their updated resumes and refreshed skills to the job fair on September 1, held at the Salisbury Civic Center.

The job fair, as promised in the title, will feature great companies looking to fill more than 300 jobs. Ellis Jewelers, Gordon Food Service, LabCorp, Lowe’s and Agility Fuel Systems will be among the more than 35 employers seeking talent.

“I encourage anyone attending the job fair to visit the employer panel from 10:00 – 10:50 a.m. This is a great opportunity for job seekers to ask any questions that may help when they are speaking with the representatives from the companies,” said Walker.

The job fair will take place on September 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and is open to the community.

For more information on the workshops or to RSVP, please call 704-638-5217 or email humanresources@salisburync.gov. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The College is accepting applications now for classes beginning throughout the fall semester.

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

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Selected to Participate in NASA Grant Competition

The College launched a weather balloon to the edge of space as part of design challenge

Nasa1SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is honored to announce they were one of four colleges selected to participate in the N.C. Space Grant Team Design Challenge and Competition.

“This was a great opportunity for work-based learning and provided a great picture of a real division of NASA for our students. These lucky participants got to learn hands-on the process of creating a real space balloon and simultaneously earned a scholarship to further their education,” said Zackary Hubbard, program chair for the College’s Computer Technology Integration program.

The North Carolina Space Grant Consortium is led by North Carolina State University. As part of NASA’s proposal to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at community and technical colleges, the N.C. Space Grant was selected as a recipient of the 2014 Space Grant Competitive Opportunity for Partnerships with Community Colleges and Technical Schools.

“The balloons were launched in April and the event was open to the public and those interested in STEM, or those just hoping to see somethinNASA3g uniquely cool, came out to celebrate,” said Dr. Van Madray, dean of the College’s engineering and business technologies programs.

Each team designed, engineered, tested and launched a high-altitude balloon to the edge of space. Team members were responsible for conducting a specific experiment while their balloon was in-flight that had measurable results. Each balloon was equipped with a camera and GPS, which aided in the recovery of the balloon post-experiment.

NASA4The grant not only provided the funding for the N.C. Space Grant Team Design Challenge and Competition, but it also provided a $1000 scholarship for each Rowan-Cabarrus team member.

The grant establishes the Team Design Challenge and Competition for faculty and students across the state to increase STEM education experiences featuring NASA content. This year, in addition to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Mitchell Community College, Central Piedmont Community College and Catawba Valley Community College were selected to participate.

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

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Fastest Growing Industry in the Area Offers Good Jobs

Industry-funded training program emphasizes critical thinking and teamwork; Next session to enroll in training program on August 7 or August 12

 

CONCORD, N.C. — Charlotte Alexander didn’t think that a job in manufacturing was in her future. After years working in an office as an administrative professional, it didn’t seem like the right fit.

But here she is, one of 12 participants in an eight-week training program to become a Certified Production Technician (CPT), and about to begin work for one of the new manufacturing companies in the local area.

No industry in this area is creating jobs in larger numbers and growing faster than manufacturing. Local manufacturers like Alevo, 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 the average annual salary of $68,887, for the 3,010 new manufacturing jobs created in North Carolina last year.”

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

Graduates of the eight-week, 160-hour training program will be ready to sit for a national exam to become a Certified Production Technician (CPT). 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. Certainly the employers still perform training on the actual equipment they use and will acclimate the new employee to the company’s culture, while the grueling screening process has already taken care of.

There are several skills that all manufacturers wish to see when they hire a new employee. These companies and workforce development partners like the chambers of commerce and 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 first ever eight-week training program is currently in session and attendees are already seeing results and benefitting from the experience.

“The experience has been awesome. I am with a good group of people and we all have the same objective which is to increase our value to local employers for a chance of gaining employment,” said Alexander. “I am loving the program and there is a lot of important detailed information that we will need in the workforce. You can’t give up, get discouraged. We are here to better ourselves, we are here to work.”

Derrick Crook, a program participant who formerly worked in banking security, was looking to find his niche and his business degree was not leading him there. Crook learned about the program when a manufacturing firm he was applying to passed along the information. Now, he is flourishing in the program and excited for the next steps.

“Stan Honeycutt, the course’s instructor, has been great so far. He is very knowledgeable about business and manufacturing,” said Crook. “It’s a great career opportunity and an excellent resume builder.”

Another participant, Monica Barbee, moved to the area from Wilmington, N.C. for opportunities within the field of manufacturing. Barbee, an entrepreneur who ran her own business in Wilmington, saw an article in the paper and that it sounded like a great opportunity.

“It’s been very exciting. I can’t speak highly enough about Stan, the instructor. He gives us examples of real-life experiences and has instilled common sense information about workplace safety and working smart not hard,” said Barbee. “I’ve learned that you are there to be part of a team – my impression was that manufacturing involved work by individuals but I’m learning it’s much more of a team effort. For someone who has no experience in the field I am on a huge learning curve.”

Individuals interested in becoming a CPT will undergo a screening process that includes passing national Career Readiness tests and a drug screening. Some of the concepts emphasized in the training program are important safety practices, quality management, teamwork, timeliness, critical thinking and the ability to solve problems.

The Career Readiness tests are available through Rowan-Cabarrus Employability Labs. The first visit is free and the testing fee is waived for those interested in qualifying for the CPT scholarships. For more information, including Employability Lab locations and hours, please visit www.rccc.edu/resume.

The next eight-week training program begins August 24. For anyone interested in the CPT training program, attending an interest, or “discovery,” session is required. The next Discovery Session is scheduled for Friday, August 7 at 9 a.m. at the NCWorks Career Center in Salisbury with the last session to enroll in this program scheduled for Wednesday, August 12 at 2 p.m. at the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College North Carolina Research Campus building. Get details, including how to register for the session at www.ncmanufacturinginstitute.com.

The CPT 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.

“This is a way that we’re going to build a world class talent pool so we can keep people here,” said Patrick Coughlin, president and CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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