The expanded Trades Program started as a result of a vision by Alan Duncan, Dean of Business and Industry Services, and Andi Korte, Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development. The college was able to successfully leverage grant opportunities from the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, and Golden Leaf Foundation along with funding from the Palmer Foundation and support from local college funds to create and outfit trades program classrooms and laboratory space at both the Moore and Hoke campuses.
Grant funding along with local college funding support also provided the opportunity for the Division of Continuing education to expand its trades course offerings from the existing National Center for Construction and Research (NCCER) Electrical programs into NCCER Welding courses and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician(CPT) training program. With the recent announcement of a new Duke Energy grant, the college will be able to expand their offerings further with an Automation Technician training program that will include basic electrical/electronics, PLC, and advanced PLC courses.
Employers have and continue to play an important role in the development and delivery of coursework in the college’s trades programs providing input and job opportunities for the students. Students completing the programs are also provided individual assistance with securing employment in their fields of study.
As an older student facing lengthy unemployment and a set of challenging personal circumstances, Derrick enrolled in the MSSC Certified Production Technician class (CPT) highly motivated to help support his aging mother. He took the Work Keys test and earned his career readiness certificate to increase his chances at landing a job. After successfully completing the CPT program in June 2014, Derrick applied for many jobs over the next few months. He interviewed with several local companies, but did not receive any job offers. He was beginning to feel discouraged but thoughts of providing for his mother encouraged him to keep applying for other positions. Finally in November 2014, he received a job offer from Pactiv, International Tray Pads. His perseverance turned his dream into a reality with the help and support of SCC’s Trades program coordinator and instructors.
Joe came to the SCC Trades program down on his luck and running out of options. He was not proud of how his life had turned out, but knew he wanted to better himself and become a role model for his young son. Determined to make a positive change in his life, he enrolled in the first CPT program in January 2014. He proved himself as a hard worker and successfully completed the class in August. Still feeling pessimistic about his career options, Joe applied for jobs in hopes of landing an entry level position. Joe’s persistence and determination paid off in a few short months, however, when he received a job offer from Cascade. He was thrilled at this opportunity of starting off in an industrial maintenance position. Fuelled by excitement of a new career and drive to succeed, Joe decided to continue his education at SCC in the Electrical level 1 class. Joe now looks forward to completing the level 1 class and continue on to level 2 where he feels confident his education will help him advance his position at Cascade.
After separating from the military, finding a steady, well-paying job to support his young family became Nick’s primary focus. With no job opportunities in sight, Nick entered SCC’s welding level 1 class in January 2014. He successfully completed level 1 and continued through the program to level 2 in August. Within the first month of his level 2 classes, Nick saw an ad by global industrial giant, Caterpillar, who was looking to hire welders. Seeing this as his opportunity to launch his career, Nick immediately applied, and three short weeks later, was hired as a full time welder at Caterpillar.