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News & Updates

News, updates, media releases and success stories from the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance.

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Recent blog posts
NCAMA Partner Receives Six Sigma through BCCC's Customized Training Four employees of P & G Manufacturing’s Washington plant recently completed Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certifica­tion coordinated by Business and Industry Services at Beaufort County Community College and East Carolina University. Topics covered throughout the course included processes for improvement, process mapping and value stream map­ping, control systems, theory of constraints and basic statisti­cal tools, among other topics.  Six Sigma is a set of techniques and strategies for improv­ing manufacturing processes developed by Motorola in 1985. The students from P & G Manufacturing developed projects that not only saved P...
Jacob Holm Industries Hiring for Expansion Project in Buncombe County Jacob Holm Industries, a global manufacturer of nonwoven products and an NCAMA industry partner, is currently well on their way toward completion of their $45.9 million expansion project.  Drive by the Jacob Holm facility located in Candler, NC and the results of the expansion are visible from the road, as the new Line 6 begins to take shape. Offering high-quality products for the personal care, home care, hygiene, packaging and industrial markets, Jacob Holm’s additional production line is planned to start commercial production in the first quarter of 2015. This is...
A message from President Barbara Tansey...Open House at BCCC You Fit Here! Come Take a Look! We’ve been eastern North Carolina neighbors for nearly 50 years, but you may not know how you might fit into the BCCC community. . .so we’re opening our doors for a big Open House event on Thursday, October 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. Whether you’re making plans for college, wanting to upgrade your job skills or looking for a new hobby or interest, you’ll fit in at BCCC. During our Open House, you’ll be able to meet faculty, staff and current students in...
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  Enrollment in engineering programs at Nash Community College has consistently increased over the last several years, and the 2014 fall semester is no exception. In order to help students reach their potential, the engineering department at NCC is proud to announce the opening of The Engineering Hub. The “Hub” is a tutoring center and open lab for advanced manufacturing students that want, or need, additional help with their coursework. Faculty members work one-on-one with students, providing them an opportunity to ask questions and receive personal assistance with lab assignments....
HCC Instructor Invited to World Maker Faire Electronics Engineering Technology instructor, Farhan, has been selected to be on the Maker Faire Teacher Team for the World Maker Faire located in New York on September 20-21st.  Farhan will be leading hands-on activities for students and participants at the World Maker Faire. Maker Faires are designed for all ages and can include anyone from tech enthusiasts, engineers, artist, hobbyists, and many more. The Faires are designed for people to share what they are creating with the public. It's an open-source for inventors!  Farhan will be collaborating with EET teachers nationwide...
Internship for FTCC Computer-Integrated Machining Students Machining students, Lenay Huskey and Graham Nygaard started their internship with Ruhl Tech Engineering this month.  Through the NCAMA program, Ruhl Tech Engineering has agreed to partner with FTCC to provide internship opportunities for our advanced manufacturing students. Partnerships like this help build a better line of networking and communication between industry and community colleges. It gives industry a chance to “test drive” our students, see if this is what they desire in future in employees and it also allows industry to give feedback to the college about technical and soft...

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NCAMA News for August In August news, student enrollment in Advanced Manufacturing programs is up, internships with industry is up, instructors spent time with industry or took advanced industry training, and summer camps helped inspire the next generation.  New courses are on offer, students are helping first-year students with advice and guidance on how to succeed, and certificate program students graduated. Two communications resources were added to the HELP section of the website - one a library of resources available to make it easy for staff to find what they need and a new help guide...

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Fundamentals Students Graduate The May to August Fundamentals of Automated Machining classes (AM and PM) graduated on August 28th.  These students have just taken a step toward a new career in machining.  The class curriculum included learning to operate automated drill presses, milling machines, saws and bench grinders. Additionally, during this 15-week, hands-on course they were introduced to CNC machining, shop safety, blueprint reading, shop math, Lean Manufacturing principles, teamwork and problem solving.  Kudos to those hardworking, talented graduates!      ...

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NCAMA Marketing Tools The Advanced Manufacturing Alliance adopted a sophisticated communications, marketing and student recruiting approach from the beginning of the grant.  Marketing and communications were considered of strategic value to the consortium colleges to: change perceptions about advanced manufacturing; boost student recruiting; provide an additional channel with which to engage with industry; provide ongoing transparency on progress to the DOL; and assist with economic development by providing an authentic, ongoing demonstration of the sophisticated, specialized training on offer to the advanced manufacturing sector.  With the grant in its third year, there has been...
Help guide updated - Posting to the Calendar When the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance website was updated to Joomla 3.2 to make it fully responsive to the changing and increased use of smartphones, tablets and small-touch-screen devices, the software that was used on the site for the calendar was changed.  Staff asked for a step-by-step Help Guide to be able to use the many features available through the calendar.  The calendar is one of the marketing and communications tools available to consortium colleges.  It provides a means for colleges to promote courses, start dates, open houses, student manufacturing club events...
Siemens certifications for Instructors Common wisdom holds that teachers have it made in the summer with two or three months off with nothing to do but go to the beach and spend money. Well the fact is that instructors do many different things in the summer. A few do spend a lot of time at the beach, but those instructors are in the minority. Some teachers, believe it or not, actually teach summer school in the summer. Others work on curriculum development, or advanced degrees, or attend workshops and committee meetings. Some attend conferences and...
Advice for 1st year Machining students FTCC’s Machining students are excited about becoming second year students this Fall 2014 semester. Over the past year they have created a class “culture” of teamwork, good work ethic, and an overall spirit of comraderie with one another. They are looking forward to starting their last year of class; they were also curious and excited to meet the new first year students. I posed the following question to our newly dubbed second year students: If you could offer a few words of advice to our first year students, what would you say?  ...

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NCAMA News for July In this month's newsletter - a mix of industry partnering and STEM-based summer school activities across the state.  Industry news includes visits, interactions and incumbent worker training with companies such as Bosch, Hog Slat, Power Cat, Ruhl Tech and Keihin Carolina.  And STEM-based science camps took place at several college campuses creating the future wave of engineers and technicians.  Plus other news.    Read this month's newsletter online or subscribe to get it by email....
Students Build LEGO Mindstorm Robots at STEM Camp Ninety elementary and middle school students discovered that exploring engineering careers and technology is a lot of fun if you get to build a robot in the process. The students were participants in STEM Camp at Davidson County Community College, which is designed to stimulate an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Participants learned to program robots using LEGO Mindstorm kits. In addition, they learned innovative engineering design techniques as they built bridges from plastic foam and balsa wood. The exercises helped the students develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills...
Summer Externships Provide Faculty with Insight into Employers Davidson County Community College manufacturing instructor Kerry Smith recently gained valuable insight into how his students should prepare for jobs at businesses in Davie County. Through the Partnership for Workforce Development, Smith participated in externships at five local companies in June and July. These externships allowed him to observe various types of careers and form relationships with key leaders who can offer internships and jobs to DCCC students. The Partnership for Workforce Development is an initiative of the Davie County Economic Development Commission to support continued economic development in the county....
Welding Courses Through Continuing Education The Davie Campus of Davidson County Community College is offering two Continuing Education welding courses this fall for experienced welders interested in improving their skills and for those interested in entering the welding field. “There is a high demand for qualified welders in a wide range of industrial settings,” says Kim Smith, program director for Continuing Education on the Davie Campus. “This field offers great employment opportunities with excellent salaries.”   Welding courses to be offered this fall are as follows: Welding: Cutting Processes   This course introduces oxy-fuel and plasma-arc...
BCCC Tries Alternate Approach to Internships Thanks to Carver Machine Works (one of BCCC’s two original Industrial Partners), the door was opened to try a modified model to establish internships.  The new model begins with the identification of 4-6 students from a chosen discipline (e.g., Machining) who are interested in employment at the selected company.  Step 2 is a plant tour for the group in unison, conducted by the production manager, or his designee.  Following the tour, the candidates are paired up one-on-one for job “shadowing” with an employee from the pertinent work area (two to three...

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BCCC Provides Special Orientation for Students new to the Alliance.  Eleven students participated from 10:00AM to noon on Thursday, July 31.  “If landing a good-paying job is your objective, statistically you’re in the right place!”  There is an “oversupply” of four-year college graduates compared to jobs that require that level of education.  On the contrary, there is a shortage of two-year associate degree graduates.  Jobs are out there!After hearing about NCAMA, its history, its mission, and its ties to the USDOL and Dept. of Education, students were told “What’s in it for me?”  For example:...
Campers Have Fun and Learn through STEM Camp  left, Jozy Wadsworth learns about soldering from ECC electrical systems student Shelton Ray       Two weeklong STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) Camps met at Edgecombe Community College (Rising 3rd-5th graders, July 14-18 and 6th-8th graders, July 21-25), and there was much excitement in the Advanced Manufacturing Center during those two weeks! Rebecca Stamilio-Ehret and her team had a great time working with the campers, as they learned through STEM projects. They built small rockets, soldered LED flashers, experimented with solar panels, and completed Lego Mindstorm projects, among other hands-on...
NCAMA shares successes and best practices at TAACCCT conference Project Manager DeRay Cole was invited to the TAACCCT Region 3 Convening on Bridging the Gap: To prepare the Workforce for a jobs-driven economy to share lessons learned.  Mr Cole was joined on the panel by James Williams, the Vice President of Economic and Community Services at Itawamba Community College in Mississippi and Marion Tutor, the TAACCCT Director at the same college in Mississippi.  More than 250 people attended. The two-day conference in Georgia was convened by the US Department of Labor, which funds the NCAMA grant and the broader Trade...