As the need for a highly skilled workforce increases, North Carolina community colleges are at the forefront of providing the training needed to fill this demand. Business and industry partners work directly with community colleges to identify the skills in most need.
In the past several weeks, community college campuses in Alexander and Wayne counties celebrated new training facilities to help build the local workforce.
Catawba Valley Community College held a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 24th to celebrate the official opening of its Industrial Systems and Mechatronics Lab at the Alexander County campus. Golden LEAF Senior Vice President Ted Lord and Golden LEAF Board member and former Chair of the Board Randy Isenhower attended the event.
In April 2021, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $460,000 to Catawba Valley Community College through the Community-Based Grants Initiative to support the expansion of the Industrial Systems Program on the college’s Alexander County campus. Golden LEAF funds were used to purchase training equipment and software for the lab. Local industry indicated a high demand for workers with industrial systems and mechatronics skills.
Wayne Community College held a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 14th to celebrate the new welding facilities at the college. Golden LEAF Senior Vice President Ted Lord and Golden LEAF Director of External Affairs Kasey Ginsberg attended the event.
In June 2016, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $500,000 to Wayne Community College through the Community-Based Grants Initiative to help expand its welding program to increase enrollment and provide training using modern instructional equipment. Local employers have indicated demand for approximately 250 welders over a five-year period. Golden LEAF funds were used for costs related to the renovation of training space and to purchase welding equipment, including 20 self-contained welding booths and four downdraft tables.
Other funding for this project came from the State through the Connect NC Bond, Duke Energy, a private donor, and other county and state funding.
“Golden LEAF is pleased to support the welding program at Wayne Community College and the Industrial Systems and Mechatronics Lab at the Alexander County campus of Catawba Valley Community College,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer. “These projects will help provide students with the skills to gain a quality job and provide local industry with the skilled workers they need.”