Advanced manufacturing has a strong footprint in Nash County and the surrounding area. With access to I-95 as well as nearby seaports and international airports, logistics are ideal for industry; however, a skilled local workforce has long been a hurdle for the region. Working to fill that knowledge and skills gap, Nash Community College is strengthening its partnerships with local manufacturers to help fill these quality jobs.
In the fall of 2018, Nash Community College opened a new state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing facility to help address area industry demand. The Golden LEAF Board awarded $250,000 to Nash Community College for advanced manufacturing equipment through the Community-Based Grants Initiative in June 2018. Interest in these programs has surged in the last three years.
The college’s facility features Computer-Integrated Machining, Electrical Systems Technology, Industrial Systems Technology, Welding Technology, and Electronics Engineering Technology programs and includes a robotics and simulated manufacturing laboratory. The college works closely with industry to ensure that the equipment purchased for training is utilized by most businesses and that the training at the facility is aligned with employer needs so students can access good paying jobs.
Nash Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing programs have helped 71 students complete a program in advanced manufacturing, 59 incumbent workers receive continuing education credits, 235 students earn third-party credentials, and 74 students find employment in the field. Forty-two high school students that enrolled in the Career and College Promise program earned college credit in the advanced manufacturing field.
The Advanced Manufacturing future is bright in North Carolina, and Nash Community College is helping to provide knowledgeable and skilled employees to meet the demand. With the increased need for a skilled workforce, partnerships between industry and community colleges will help keep large employers in rural North Carolina for years to come.
“Many people do not know that advanced manufacturing offers a much higher wage than other types of factory work. Employees work in a super clean environment with the most rigid safety standards. When you graduate in just two years, students make really good money.”
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