FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Educators, manufacturing companies, and community leaders in North Carolina are working together to ensure a future supply of workers in the advanced manufacturing sector.
The industry will be highlighted during N.C. Manufacturing Awareness Week, set for April 8-12. As part of this observance, Edgecombe Community College (ECC) is hosting an Advanced Manufacturing Career Day and Open House on April 9.
The goal is to raise awareness of advanced manufacturing occupations, especially for students who are in the process of choosing a career.
Advanced manufacturing is modern, sophisticated, and high tech. In Edgecombe County, about 60 openings can’t be filled due to the lack of skilled workers, according to Dr. Paul Petersen, project manager for the N.C. Advanced Manufacturing Alliance at ECC. Strengthened by a $1.2 million federal grant awarded more than a year ago, the college has purchased state-of-the-art equipment, such as industrial grade robots, and hired additional instructors with advanced credentials. Petersen, for example, is a former university engineering professor who also has experience in industry.
The college is in a position to prepare highly trained workers in manufacturing. About 20 students are currently enrolled in ECC’s four manufacturing-related programs: industrial systems, electrical/electronics, manufacturing, and mechanical drafting. College personnel hope to recruit about 25 new students into the programs annually.
Student recruitment is the focus of ECC’s Advanced Manufacturing Career Day and Open House. The event will be held in the Havens Building on the Tarboro campus from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Manufacturing lab tours and demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day. A mini-engineering camp for seventh and eighth graders will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Employer displays will be the focus from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and ECC program offerings will be highlighted throughout the day.
Visitors will learn about pathways to advanced manufacturing careers, meet with business and industry leaders, and participate in hands-on demonstrations of advanced manufacturing equipment.
Demonstrations will include the college’s high tech 3-D printer, robots, and electronic, machining, and renewable energy equipment.
For more information about Advanced Manufacturing Career Day and Open House at ECC, call 823-5166, ext. 249, or email HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"email@example.com.