Spotlight: Community colleges focus on skills for jobs of tomorrow

RCCC Advanced Manufacturing programs help student succeed

Golden LEAF awarded two Golden LEAF grants totaling $1,040,440 supporting the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s mechatronics, machining, and welding programs to better train students for good-paying local jobs. This equipment helps students gain hands-on training in a wide range of careers including advanced manufacturing.

Mark Hill of Rowan County attended Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to start a new career in advanced manufacturing after being laid off from his management job in 2016.

“I had not considered returning to school as any kind of an option,” said Hill. “Then I saw how my own wife was in school again at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and being successful at it. I said to myself that if I didn’t find a job by the end of the year, I would apply and try to go back to school. So, I applied to RCCC, was accepted and enrolled for classes for Spring semester of 2016.”

“What started out as a financial need to get a job, turned into a life-changing, leadership development, career-building journey that literally has transformed our family’s future,” said Hill. “I flourished in my studies. I dedicated long days and nights to my classes and attained a 4.0 cumulative GPA.”

While pursuing his mechanical and industrial engineering degrees, Hill applied for an internship.

“I worked for a local company, Turnkey Technologies, and learned more about my field,” said Hill. “They asked me to continue with them through the Spring and offered me full-time employment upon my graduation in May.”

Hill is currently a mechanical engineering technologist at Turnkey Technologies, Inc. and attributes his success to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been one of the best things to have ever happened to me,” said Hill. “I get to use both of my degrees at Turnkey Technologies – industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. I didn’t even have to interview for this job – they basically hired me over the phone.”

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