Duke Energy Foundation Grant to Fund NCC Program Enhancements

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From left: NCC President Bill Carver, Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans, NCC Foundation President Andy Blanton, NCC Foundation Vice President and 2014 Campaign Chair Jake Parrott and NCC Foundation Executive Director Pat Ellis Daniels

Nash Community College (NCC) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy through the Duke Energy Foundation. The purpose of grant is to fund an enhancement project to ensure NCC’s Electric Line Construction Academy students receive classroom and field instruction. The instruction will incorporate collaborative problem solving and critical thinking. The grant will employ project-based learning to hone skills, expand knowledge, preparing students to enter the workforce. To achieve this, the current Line Construction classroom will be redesigned to include interactive displays, lecture capture, and configurable seating to accommodate team learning, already part of the College’s Math Tank and English Studio redesigns. Multi-configurable spaces have led to increased student passing rates from 50% to 80%.

“Duke Energy has been an important partner with the college, investing in the education of electric line construction technicians help to ensure future success and job safety. The role of these trainees is critical to meeting the utility needs in our state and beyond,” NCC President Bill Carver said.

Additionally, instructor videos will provide concept previews, while helmet cameras will record and live stream climbing projects for self and peer evaluation and targeted formative instruction. Enhanced technology features include computer touch screen input, to be integrated into training field. Industry specific supplies will support team and project-based training. The improved learning environment will aide in increased instruction efficiency and provide increased supplemental resources to better engage students, leading to increased recruitment and retention, improved performance, and faster progression through skill sets.

“Nash Community College is an important partner in developing the workforces that enables Duke Energy to provide safe, reliable energy 24-hours a day,” said Tanya Evans, Duke Energy’s District Manager.

NCC provides workforce development to improve the lives of students and their families, reduce costs for employers, and enhance the quality of life in communities. The 16-week Electric Line Construction Academy prepares graduates for entry-level careers in the electrical utility field and is the first step towards the Electric Line Construction Technology diploma and degree. The Academy accelerates training leading to the 3rd Class Line Construction Technology Certificate, a credential in high demand.

The Academy has a reputation for training competent candidates for the utility industry. Since 2011, students have enrolled in the program from counties all across North Carolina and from other states, including Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Employers who have hired students from the program include Progress Energy, Duke Power, Dominion Power, Electric Membership Corporations, state municipalities, and contractors. Fifteen students from the semester ending in December 2013 are already working for the City of Rocky Mount, Strata Solar Company, T&D Electrical, City of Wilson, Wake Electric, Duke Energy, South River EMC, Edgecombe-Martin EMC, and companies in Pennsylvania and New York.

Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Over the foundation’s long history in local communities, it has identified focus areas that maximize the foundation’s dollars and guide the foundation’s giving. In North Carolina, Duke Energy Foundation invests $16 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community.

Workforce Training Initiatives Give Boost to Region’s Underemployed

In June of 2012, PNC Bank provided $175,000 in grants for two workplace development programs in the Twin Counties. Two years later, the programs are making progress in training the region’s unemployed with workplace skills most needed by employers in the region.

“As the economy has changed, it is more important than ever that the business community partners with the education community to ensure we have a skilled workforce available to help our companies succeed and grow,” said Paula Fryland, PNC regional president.  “These collaborative partnerships allow residents of the Twin Counties to gain the skills needed for current and future jobs right here in our region.”

Nash Community College (NCC) developed the “Workplace Skill-Up Project”, which has helped more than 150 local citizens gain a Career Readiness Certification, achieved through a customized series of modules training the students on the skills they require in reading, writing and math.  Participants work through the modules at their own pace in open lab environments.

The program allows undercredentialed, underemployed, and unemployed citizens to gain work-ready certifications in a much shorter term than a college degree.  A random sampling of participants showed an average test score improvement of 50 percent between the pre-assessment and the end of the semester.

“The PNC grant has allowed NCC to better meet the needs of the community by providing valuable resources and support,” Nash Community College Vice President for Instruction and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Trent Mohrbutter shared. “Participants in the Work Place Skill-Up program have built technical reading, writing, and math skills, received career and academic counseling, and have been able to attain a Career Readiness Certificate. The results have been very positive as many of the participants have found employment and others have continued on with their education at NCC.”

Turning Point Workforce Development Board (Turning Point WDB), is finalizing plans to pilot a “Workforce Simulation Lab”, a facility that will simulate workplace settings to teach employer-preferred skill sets for hard-to-employ citizens in the area. Turning Point WDB has collaborated with Edgecombe Community College, NCC, Rocky Mount Edgecombe Community Development Corporation and several major employers in the area to develop the lab’s training curriculum and functionality which will primarily focus on the region’s three leading job sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Allied Health and Professional Office / Call Center.

Turning Point WDB is completing facility renovations, with an official lab unveiling planned for December. Training in the Allied Health profession is set to begin in August, and Advanced Manufacturing in spring of 2015.  It will also be available for local employers to use as a training center for process improvement and recruitment.

“The collaboration of these local institutions and employers to create and support this training program demonstrates our region’s ability to work together to provide hope to those who have been hopeless in finding employment with their current skills,” said Michael Williams, director of Turning Point WDB.

NCC’s Workplace Skill-Up program takes place on Nash Community College’s campus at 522 North Old Carriage Rd.  Turning Point WDB’s Workforce Simulation Lab is located at the Edgecombe County Business/Industrial Incubator at 110 Fountain Industrial Park. Both programs are free to residents of Nash and Edgecombe Counties. Interested citizens can learn more or enroll by contacting Nash Community College’s Continuing Education department at 252-451-8246; and Turning Point WDB at 252-443-6175.

Separately, PNC’s talent development organization called PNC University has also partnered with NCC to create a continuing education course called “Introduction to the Financial Services Industry“, to train participants in skills required for jobs available with PNC in the area.  Upon completion of the course, each student is offered an interview with PNC for the respective role, typically teller, lockbox specialist, or collections specialist.

College Presidents Discuss Advanced Manufacturing Alliance


The Community College Presidents of the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance met at Nash Community College on Wednesday, May 21 to discuss strategy for sustaining and scaling up the alliance. The North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance comprises 10 community colleges providing specialized training to students to prepare them for careers in advanced manufacturing. An $18 million grant from the United States Department of Labor provides the consortium with funding for equipment used by advanced manufacturing companies throughout the State. The Alliance offers accelerated training to people who are unemployed and dislocated as a result of offshoring and provides them the skills and credentials employers are seeking for well-paid jobs. The program uses curricula for its state-of-the-art equipment and students are equipped with iPads for online connectivity to their coursework and their success managers. Additionally, it is accredited by The National Center for Construction Education and Research, the national industry organization, to provide instructor accreditation and training in North Carolina.

In the photo: NCC Welding student Matthew Cooke, employed by Edwards, Inc. in Spring Hope, competes in the flat stick open roof welding competition during the American Welding Society (AWS) Tri-State Welding Competition held at Nash Community College Friday, April 25th.

NCC Celebrates Advanced Manufacturing Week

North Carolina Community Colleges are celebrating Advanced Manufacturing Week Monday, April 7th through Friday, April 11th. Nash Community College has planned a week of awareness in partnership with the Nash-Rocky Mount Public School System, local manufacturing companies, and community leaders to ensure the promotion of future advanced manufacturing career opportunities to young students. Efforts to bring awareness to the need and demand for workers will create the pipeline of employees needed in the future to continue to support advanced manufacturing in North Carolina as it is projected to grow.

 

NCC offers degrees, certifications, and diplomas in advanced manufacturing fields such as computer-integrated machining, electronics engineering technology, tire manufacturing, welding, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and other engineering and manufacturing technology disciplines preparing students through career training and industry partnerships.

 

Although, Advanced Manufacturing Week is celebrated annually, Nash Community College exposes local students to the industry and careers in the field year-round. Last October, NCC hosted successful events such as the Industrial and Advanced Manufacturing Academy Parent Night with over 125 participants and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) which had 1,000 attendees including parents and students. In November, NCC presented information about exciting advanced manufacturing careers to 1,400 middle school and high school CTE students. This year, the college has offered parent and school staff awareness sessions to promote the Industrial and Advanced Manufacturing Academy.

 

To celebrate Advanced Manufacturing Week April 7-11, NCC has coordinated events in the Nash-Rocky Mount area. At the first event, being held on Monday, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools (NRMPS) Industrial & Advanced Manufacturing Academy students will tour Cummins-Rocky Mount Engine Plant, one of Nash County’s largest employers. Students will observe high-tech manufacturing and interact with various department leaders. They will also learn about the Cummins Work Study Scholarship Program (WSSP), an initiative providing scholarship opportunities for students as they work part-time and attend Nash Community College to pursue their Associate’s Degree in Computer-Integrated Machining, Electrical Systems Technology or Industrial Systems Technology.

 

On Tuesday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 9, NRMPS Industrial & Advanced Manufacturing Academy Welding students and Nash Community College Welding students will tour Edwards, Inc. in Spring Hope to observe how various welding techniques and fabrication skills are applied in the field of industrial services.

 

Through the Industrial and Advanced Manufacturing Academy at Nash Community College, high school students can fast-track into careers by completing as many as 19 hours of college credit during high school. With the Academy, supported in part by the Golden LEAF Foundation, students explore highly employable career pathway options in fields offering competitive salaries. For more information, contact NCC Recruiter Elizabeth Wall at ewall@nashcc.edu or 252-451-8206.

Eaton Supports Advanced Manufacturing Students

Nash Community College is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from Eaton. The purpose of the grant is to support high school students in pursuing training in advanced manufacturing and to provide Nash Community College advanced manufacturing students with hands-on project-based learning opportunities.

Eaton is a global power management company that provides energy-efficient solutions to assist clients in managing electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. “Eaton, as a worldwide organization, believes in the support of their communities and environment and encourages employees to participate in their communities. At the Middlesex plant, we strive to improve our communities and support the needs as much as possible, including schools, fire departments, and the Children’s Home. We are proud to be able to present Nash Community College with a grant that will improve their student’s skills,” Eaton Human Resources Assistant Debra Lewis said.

With the support of the Eaton grant, students taking Nash Community College’s Hydraulics and Pneumatics and Maintenance and Procedures classes will have the opportunity to design a prototype of a pneumatic arm system then build five complete functioning systems based on the prototype. This hands-on project-based instruction in college classes teaches future workers teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Additionally, high school participants in the IAM Academy learn about manufacturing as a viable career choice and a sector-based pipeline of opportunity is created from high school through to the workforce.

Nash Community College strives to impact the economic stability of the community by training future employees for local careers. Through partnerships such as the grant received from Eaton in support of the IAM Ready project, NCC will fulfill its mission of offering quality instruction and technology to prepare students for college transfer and for rewarding careers.
Pictured from left: Eaton Plant Manager Tommy Stockdale, Eaton Human Resources Manager Jenny Dieter, Eaton Human Resources Assistant Debra Lewis, NCC President Bill Carver and NCC Associate Dean of Student and Enrollment Services Wil van der Meulen.

 

Grant Allows NCC to Grow Mission Critical Programs


Nash Community College Associate Vice President for Community and Governmental Affairs Keith Smith recently greeted Dr. Jill Biden during a visit to Cleveland Community College. Nash Community College, as a member of the Mission Critical Operations consortium led by Cleveland Community College, received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Training Administration. A total of more than $23 million was awarded to the consortium of college and university partners for the development of a Mission Critical Operations program. Through the grant, Nash Community College will enhance the Electric Line Construction, Electrical Systems, Electronics Engineering, Emergency Management, Healthcare Business Informatics, Networking Technology, and Computer Information Technology programs. The program will create career pathways in these areas to meet the demand for a mission critical workforce able to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and respond to crisis and events in the day-to-day critical operations of industries and municipalities.

NCC Purchases Line Truck with Progress Energy Foundation Grant

Nash Community College Electric Line Construction students will gain new skills and experience to prepare them for careers in the electrical utility field. This is due to a grant from the Progress Energy Foundation that allowed the college to purchase a Polecat line truck for the program. Students will have the opportunity for hands-on practice and most importantly, supervised “real-world” training in safety procedures while working up to 30 feet above the ground.
“Line construction can be physically challenging,” said NCC President Bill Carver. “Graduates of the program keep our lights on, our homes comfortable, and our schools and companies operational. Our students deserve to be prepared with the knowledge of how to do their jobs efficiently and safely. Progress Energy Foundation’s support ensures that NCC’s unique Electric Line Construction program continues to provide employers with workers who possess the skills and training to be productive from the very first day on the job.”

 

The experience of instructors Bob Schubauer and Larry Blair, along with the new line truck, adds a new area of training to NCC’s Electric Line Construction program which trains over 100 students each year for careers in the preparation and repair of electrical utility service. Operating and working in an aerial platform like the line truck requires specialized qualifications, knowledge and safety practices.

 

“Students have the opportunity to practice job skills through the controlled environment of the classwork under the eye of experienced instructors,” instructor Bob Schubauer said. “Safety habits form now, before the student is hired and has to perform under the intense pressure of something like the aftermath of a hurricane,” Larry Blair explained.

 

“Nash Community College does an outstanding job of training the next generation of line technicians, and we are proud to partner with them to help acquire the equipment they need to prepare students for such an exciting and challenging career,” Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans said.

NCC Receives $5,000 Grant to Support Workforce Training Curriculum

The 7×24 Exchange Carolinas Chapter recently presented $5,000 to three North Carolina community colleges, including Nash Community College, Wake Technical Community College and Cleveland Community College. On the same day, $23 million in US Department of Labor funds were awarded to three N.C. community colleges, UNC Charlotte and Moultrie Technical College in Georgia for the development of Mission Critical Operations training. The grant, totaling $15,000 will support marketing and recruitment efforts of the new program.

The growth of Mission Critical Data Centers in the Mid-Atlantic region has created increased demand for operations personnel to maintain the dependability, reliability and energy efficiency of such facilities. In response to that demand, 7×24 Exchange International’s Carolinas Chapter, the leading knowledge exchange for those who design, build, use and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures, agreed to support a consortium of higher education institutions, led by Cleveland Community College. Cleveland Community College agreed to develop, equip, staff and scale curriculum programs to train and educate the workforce needed for these large data companies and users.

“The Mission Critical Operations skill train has arrived at the station. Those departing (retiring) are taking with them decades of formal and on-job-training skills. Yet, the individual skill sets of those waiting to embark are significantly less than is required by the Mission Critical Industry,” said Paul Marcoux, Senior Vice President of BB&T and the chapter’s Education Chair. “Mission Critical is not just about data centers, it’s about the thousands of people behind the scenes keeping critical support functions operating, 24-7, 365 days a year, including hospitals, critical manufacturing process, 911 call centers, bio manufacturing and hundreds of other critical industries, all facing the same skill shortage.”

Pictured from left: 7×24 Carolinas Membership Chairman David Knight, NCC President Dr. Bill Carver, NC Community College System President Dr. Scott Ralls, 7×24 Carolinas Education Committee Chairman Paul Marcoux, 7×24 Carolinas President Tom Jacobik and 7×24 Carolinas Advisor Robin Aron.

NCC Receives $2.5 Million Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor

Nash Community College, as a member of the Mission Critical Operations consortium led by Cleveland Community College, is the recipient of a $2,548,106 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Training Administration. Over $23 million was awarded this week to the consortium of college and university partners for the development of a Mission Critical Operations program.

“Through the grant, Nash Community College will enhance the Electric Line Construction, Electrical Systems, Electronics Engineering, Emergency Management, Healthcare Business Informatics, Networking Technology, and Computer Information Technology programs,” Nash Community College President Bill Carver said. “The program will create career pathways in these areas to meet demand for a mission critical workforce able to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and respond to crisis and events in the day-to-day critical operations of industries and municipalities.”

The program is aimed at combating the evolving threat of critical infrastructure operations failure and encompasses cyber and physical security, facility management, communications, industrial systems, and any system deemed critical to operations and public safety by an employer. In addition to Nash and Cleveland Community Colleges, consortium members are Wake Technical Community College, Moultrie Technical Community College (GA), and UNC-Charlotte.

According to a U.S. Department of Labor press release, $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities was announced by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez Wednesday. The grants will be used to assist colleges and universities throughout the country with development and growth in innovative training in partnership with local employers. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program provided the grants. The program is multi-year, approximately $2 billion initiative to expand training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

Nash and Wilson Community Colleges Receive Golden LEAF Grant

Nash and Wilson Community Colleges are recipients of an $845,000 grant through the Golden LEAF Essential Skills in Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiative. The grant supports Project NC301, a partnership aimed at meeting employment demands in the local pharmaceutical, logistics manufacturing and metal fabrication industries. Because of the high-tech nature of today’s advanced manufacturing workplace, employers need workers with technical, specialized knowledge that requires college-level training or a technical degree. Project NC301 participants pursue targeted skill enhancement, work experiences, third-party industry certifications, and interview opportunities with industry partners to gain the training and skills for employment. Degrees, certifications, and diplomas are available in computer-integrated machining, electronics engineering technology, tire manufacturing, welding, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and other engineering and manufacturing technology disciplines.

“The Golden LEAF Board of Directors created this special initiative with the awareness that North Carolina leads the Southeast in manufacturing jobs, with more than 18 percent of the rural workforce earning $8.5 billion in manufacturing wages,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. “In Nash and Wilson counties, seven local companies have indicated a need for over 680 jobs in the next three years. This project will help provide skills training for high wage jobs, connect the local industries with the skilled workers they need, and upgrade the capacity of our training institutions.”

Through the grant, Project NC301 will implement several strategies to ensure participants of any age or experience level can achieve short-term career goals and progress towards long-term educational goals simultaneously. The colleges will partner with local schools and employers to create a seamless progression for students from high school through a two-year degree and into a four-year degree or the workforce. Displaced workers will prepare to enter locally available essential skills-based positions and will access further education necessary for career advancement or higher degrees. The grant will support the purchase of advanced manufacturing equipment, assist students with certification and internship expenses, and provide support for the supplies and training necessary to prepare students for third-party certification exams.

“This two county section of 301 is a complex mix of manufacturing sectors. Assisting these important industrial clients with job training is a community college obligation. Golden LEAF recognized the value of making an investment in programs and people,” NCC President Dr. Bill Carver said.

The grant will allow the colleges to provide more enhanced and accelerated occupational, career and academic training opportunities in the advanced manufacturing disciplines. Additional career training and industry partnerships will result in more internship and co-op opportunities and increase the employability of degree, diploma and certificate graduates. Project NC301 will lead to an increase in students enrolled in and successfully completing advanced manufacturing certificate, diploma and degree programs, more industry and third-party credentials earned, and more students interviewed and hired for well-paying jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry.

“Wilson Community College is fortunate to work with the farsighted people of the Golden LEAF Foundation and visionaries such as President Carver of Nash Community College, who can see the need and opportunity to significantly enhance the training infrastructure in the 301 corridor supporting our industrial partners and the very good jobs that are in manufacturing,” Wilson Community College President Dr. Rusty Stephens said.

This project received support from the Golden LEAF Foundation. For more information about the project or Nash Community College’s Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies programs, call 252-451-8235.

Nash and Wilson Community Colleges are recipients of an $845,000 grant through the Golden LEAF Essential Skills in Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiative supporting Project NC301, a partnership aimed at meeting employment demands in the local pharmaceutical, logistics manufacturing and metal fabrication industries. Nash Community College President Dr. Bill Carver (right) and Wilson Community College President Dr. Rusty Stephens discuss local industry needs as they visit Nash Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab.