Friday, July 19, 2013 —
Stanly Community College recently launched a targeted capital campaign aimed at expanding the college’s instructional programs in advanced manufacturing and industrial technology. The “Training for Tomorrow’s Workforce” campaign seeks to raise $3 million for major renovations to the existing Annex Building and Continuing Education Building on the Albemarle campus.
In May, the Institute for Emerging Issues, in partnership with the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the N.C. Community College System, hosted a manufacturing community forum at Stanly Regional Medical Center.
The purpose of the forum was to better align the needs of manufacturers with the educational opportunities available in the region.
Dr. Brenda Kays, president of Stanly Community College, moderated a panel discussion that included Preston Gray, site manager for Michelin US 11; Peter Nance, general manager for Chicago Tube and Iron; and Dan Tweed Jr., vice president of operations for Carnes-Miller Gear Company, Inc. Each panelist addressed an increasing need for workers skilled in advanced manufacturing, especially in the areas of welding, machining and industrial maintenance.
Nance concluded that “we’ve been on the wrong end of the technology curve. We are trying to play catch up. There is change coming and our workforce has to embrace that change and take it on.”
As a result of that forum and other conversations over the past few years with industry leaders, Kays sought an endorsement from the SCC board of trustees to move forward with plans for facility renovations in order to expand existing programs, upgrade technology and create new offerings.
“The board of trustees supports Dr. Kays’ efforts in expanding and renovating the Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology buildings. It is essential that the college acquire much needed capital for flexible space and her efforts will advance the capability to train more students for existing and future workforce needs, as well as aid in the economic development of Stanly County,” said Nadine Bowers, chair, Stanly Community College board of trustees.
Economic forecasting conducted by the Centralina Workforce Development board confirmed that future job growth for Stanly County will focus on trade contractors, metalworking machine manufacturing, fabricated metal product manufacturing and automotive repair and maintenance.
SCC recently created a partnership with Carnes-Miller Gear (CMG) to develop the college’s first Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machinist certificate program. CMG has been temporarily providing both classroom space and equipment for the training. The new facilities provided through this campaign will provide space on the SCC campus for expanding this program.
In addition, space will be available for programs in Automotive/I-CAR; Electrical Lineman; Heavy Equipment Operations; Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning; Industrial Systems Technology; Welding; and Industrial Automation/Mechatronics.
On June 17, following a presentation on the college’s plans, the Stanly County board of commissioners committed $500,000 to the capital campaign.
“On behalf of the Stanly County Commissioners we are proud to commit $500,000 to the project for the Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology programs at Stanly Community College. This program will offer valuable economic development. We are pleased to make this investment in Stanly County,” said Gene McIntyre, chairman, Stanly County board of commissioners.
College officials are now meeting with area individuals, groups and industries to solicit support. In addition, grants are being sought from governmental agencies and private foundations.
“The visionary leadership demonstrated by the Stanly Community College board of trustees and the Stanly County board of commissioners is both gratifying and laudable,” Kays said.
“I look forward to meeting with other community and business leaders to discuss this campaign and its potential impact on our citizens, on Stanly County’s existing industries and on our capacity to drive future economic development.”