Michael Bolton was born and raised in Nash County and graduated from Southern Nash High School in 2005. Like many high school graduates, he went directly into the workforce. It was not long before he found himself unable to advance his career and provide for his family in a way that he wanted. He felt trapped in his job and did not have a lot of options. Nervous and unsure about his future, he knew he had to return to school.
Michael was unable to qualify for financial assistance and did not have enough money to pay for classes. Also, his current job was not willing to be flexible with a class schedule. Then something unexpected happened at his job. Corporate announced that the company was closing. Now, Michael had no choice but to return to school.
He was very interested in NCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining Program because it lined up directly with his career goals. After researching the program, Michael was ecstatic to learn that the credits he earned at NCC were transferrable to a four-year university, which would enable him to complete his degree.
In the spring of 2012, Michael started the CIM program. During his time at Nash, he was afforded the opportunity to start a career part-time with Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant based on the Nash/Cummins partnership. Upon graduation, he was hired full-time, and Cummins supported him in continuing his education at East Carolina University. He graduated from ECU in 2017 with a BS in Industrial Technology.
Today Michael is still with Cummins as an Industrial Engineering Technician supporting improvements to the production process and maintaining their electrical change management process. Michael adds, “At a time when my family was in need, Nash Community College was there to equip me with knowledge and experience that I needed most. NCC’s partnerships with local industry helped me to secure my job and the articulation agreement ensured that my education could continue while pursuing my bachelor’s degree. Nash Community College prepared me and presented me with the opportunities that were integral to my success.”
In his spare time Michael enjoys spending time with his friends and family, working on cars, fixing computers and playing video games. He is part of the RMEP STEM-Robotics group. This group is responsible for going to area schools and teaching students about robotics and engineering. Michael’s words of advice for students is “To become successful, you must be persistent. To remain successful, you must be consistent.”