Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Advanced Technology Center partners with local and overseas companies for training
posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2022 at 12:05am
KANNAPOLIS — The Advanced Technology Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been busy since it opened in 2019.The centre helps students earn degrees, complete apprenticeships and gain Manufacturing or advanced technology jobs.
What sets ATC apart from other programs is that it works with companies from all over the world to train students on a variety of equipment they will use on the job site in the future.
“We expect this facility to provide world-class training,” said Craig Lamb, RCCC Vice President of Corporate and Continuing Education. “We’re looking for our business partners locally and we’re also looking for business partners internationally to make sure people get the best when they come here.”
Last year, ATC worked with approximately 260 companies, and this number is increasing thanks to the global coverage program. Okuma Corp., one of Japan’s leading machine tool manufacturers, has partnered with ATC to help employees train the various machines they use on the job. “We represent Okuma America and everyone in North, Central, and South America who is one of their customers and needs factory training and comes here for training,” Lamb said.
ATCs have long-standing relationships with the companies they work with, resulting in long-term solutions to problems that must be addressed differently.
“It’s a dynamic place to identify the technical and talent issues facing our manufacturing customers, and we match the right training programs to help people acquire the skill level they need to achieve whatever the company is trying to achieve,” Lamb said.
ATC focuses on local companies as much as international companies. For the past seven years, the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, a group of 48 manufacturing companies, has come together to study where the next generation of manufacturing workers will come from. ATC and the institute have developed a joint marketing plan to show people the benefits of working in manufacturing. They also have a training program and certification program that can be attended through institute-funded scholarships so people can get jobs in the field. They also collaborate to market manufacturing to the community, ensuring they understand the value of the jobs provided.
For those coming to ATC training, the experience can be eye-opening.
“The thing that surprised me the most was that everything was up to date. It wasn’t that you came in and the machines were broken, it was actually something new, it was in today’s era, not what I would call yesterday,” Mo said Scott Heath, an employee at the South Arkansas division of Reese said. “And teachers, of course. They bring us people who really understand the field, not people outside of the textbooks.”
The impact of these new industries on the county was immediate. One benefit of just some of these companies bringing people into the county for training is that they pay for 5,000 hotel stays a year. The county’s recent level of improvement has helped attract companies here.
“One of the biggest challenges in today’s market is where the workforce that an employer building or expanding a facility has to consider is coming from. We’re in a good position because our populations happen to be growing in both counties,” Lamb said. “Our ability to tell how Rowan County and Cabalus County can move the workforce from where it is now to where it needs to be to meet their needs now and in the future is what has helped close many of these deals.”