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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
As A-B Tech moves forward with meeting the needs of our community, our President Dr. Dennis King discusses some of the many changes we are going through to make this happen.  http://theurbannews.com/...
Sanderson Farms, Unc. Announces Expansion to Robeson County Bringing 1100 Jobs On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Governor Pat McCrory announced that Sanderson Farms, Inc. will construct a new state-of-the-art poultry complex in Robeson County.  This new complex, consisting of a processing plant and hatchery, will create approximately 1,100 jobs over the next three years.  With an expected $139 million investment, Sanderson Farms, Inc. expects to break ground this summer and being operation in 2016.  The company will hire supervisors, maintenance technicians and line operators with an average annual payroll of $28 million.  Sanderson Farms, Inc. is headquartered in Laurel, Mississippi.  It is...

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Students Tour Eaton Electric Graduates from the recent Fundamentals of Automated Machining class had the opportunity to tour Eaton Electrical Group in Arden, NC.  This facility has approximately 400,000 square feet and employs over 1,000 employees.   At the Arden facility, Eaton builds various electrical distribution equipment such as LVA Switchgear, MV Controls and Drives, Automatic Transfer Switches, Power Factor Control and most recently, Electrical Car Charger's.  Eaton is a long standing industry partner with A-B Tech recognizing the value an educational institution can provide in filling that need for a skilled workforce....
New Dean for Business and Industry at Haywood Community College Douglas Long has accepted the position of Dean for Business and Industry with Haywood Community College. Mr. Long has been serving at the NCCCS Office as the Career and Technical Education Coordinator since 2000. He brings extensive Career Technical Education professional experience to the table along with an MA in English Composition and Literature. He has authored many successful grants from organizations including Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, USAID, Golden Leaf, and others. He has also managed and implemented the State Board Reserve Funds that were awarded to colleges through competitive grants....
FTCC Heating and Air Promotional Video Fayetteville Tech’s Media Services department always does a wonderful job of creating promotional videos for the college.  The videos always look amazing, encouraging inquiries about our programs. One of their recent promotion videos is for our A/C, Heating and Refrigeration Technology (HVAC) program. The HVAC program is a participant of the NCAMA grant as well as our Welding and Computer-Integrated Machining programs.  To look at our HVAC promotional video, click here....

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Keihin Hires NCAMA Student Intern Edgecombe Community College closing technical skills gaps one student at a time. Classroom work and internship is a win-win for ECC student, Chris Owens and Keihin Carolina System Technology in Tarboro, North Carolina. In January, Keihin hired Owens in a full time a maintenance technical staff position. Read the full story and more about ECC interns here: “ECC and Keihin Growing Local Workforce through Internship Program” http://www.edgecombe.edu/resources/news-and-events/1568-ecc-and-keihin-growing-local-workforce-through-internship-program...
Big Boost for Welding Technology at BCCC WASHINGTON, N.C. – One of the key outcomes made possible by the TAACCCT Grant was the purchase of a “virtual welder” for the Welding Technology program at Beaufort County Community College.  With virtual welders, students can practice their welding techniques “virtually” and receive instant feedback from their instructors without wasting expensive materials.  Because students and faculty found the results so impressive, a decision was made to expand the program around the acquisition of several additional virtual welders. Enter BCCC Grant Writer Sara Singleton and Duke Energy Executive Amy Strecker.  The result...
Local Journalist Reports on the New Face of Manufacturing at Surry Community College A reporter from the Elkin Tribune recently visited Surry Community College to discover the "new face of manufacturing."  Manufacturing is not dead; it just looks different. Students at Surry Community College are learning how to use engineering equipment to assist in advanced manufacturing processes. Since the college received the Department of Labor Advanced Manufacturing Grant, enrollment has doubled and students are finding great paying jobs with these new advanced skills. The article can be read in full in the Elkin Tribune ...

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NCAMA Student Working Hard     NCAMA student, Shelton Ray completed his program in Electrical Electronics at Edgecombe Community College this past August. As a result of his classroom training and outstanding work ethic, he landed a great job with ABB, Inc. in Pinetops, North Carolina. Shelton was an excellent student and came highly recommended by his instructor and department chair, Doug Parrish. Shelton did so well that Doug would call on him to help train other students. Shelton has never met a stranger and it didn't take him long to be one of our star students in the...
Computer-Integrated Machining Open House As a way to expose more departments on campus to our Advanced Manufacturing programs, the Computer-Integrated Machining program hosted an internal Open House to allow various departments on the Fayetteville Technical Community College campus the opportunity to view our program and new equipment. With the implementation of the NCAMA grant, our Computer-Integrated Machining program purchased popular brands of equipment and supplies such as Haas, GF Machining Solutions, Sharp, and Grainger which are currently used in industry.  New manual lathe and mill machines, CNC machines, a 3D printer, and tool cabinets, are...

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2014 In Review This recap of 2014 for the NC Advanced Manufacturing Alliance looks at just some of the highlights and successes it has had in the past 12 months, showcasing its industry partners, programs, students and staff.  2014 built on the success of previous years and the selection of posts included are a mix of some of the high points of the year.  Included in the review are stories recognizing Alliance instructors - without qualified instructors, quality training can't occur; industry partnering announcements and expansions; student successes; new courses and programs; and preparing...

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Mr. DeRay Cole Announces Retirement Mr. DeRay Cole, Project Manager for The North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance announced his retirement at the Project Coordinators' meeting on December 8, 2014.  His retirement will be effective January 1, 2015.  Mr. Cole has done an outstanding job leading this grant.  In the three years as Project Manager, the Alliance has achieved many of the Outcomes set forth by the Department of Labor.  Under Mr. Cole's leadership, the Alliance has established relationships with 148 industry partners.  Of these 148, 125 industry partners (84.46%) have interns or direct job placements with our...
Robeson Community College to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in 2015 For Robeson Community College, 2015 will be a year of celebration! To begin this yearlong celebration, members of the Student Government Association will participate in opening a time capsule that was sealed in 1965. This is scheduled to take place on January 15th. On March 15th, Robeson County residents will gather at the Southeastern Agricultural Center to reminisce the last 50 years.  Guest speakers will be Past Presidents Craig Allen, Fred Williams, Charles Chrestman and current President Pamela Hilbert.  The gathering is scheduled at the Agricultural Center because there is no space on...
Q&A with Machining Student Loren Kimmel Loren Kimmel is a second year Computer-Integrated Machining student at Fayetteville Technical Community College. With an anticipated graduation of May 2015, Kimmel is a real go-getter, currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA and a member of SkillsUSA.     Q:  Thanks for taking time out to chat with us Loren, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?  A:  I am 26 years old and I was born and raised in Fayetteville. I have a wife of 5 years and 2 beautiful children.   Q:  Why did you decide to attend...

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DCCC Receives NIMS Accreditation Davidson County Community College received national accreditation from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc. (NIMS).     NIMS accreditation allows DCCC students enrolled in Computer-Integrated Machining, Industrial Systems Technology and Welding Technology programs the opportunity to pursue NIMS credentials. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills offers 52 metalworking credentials and is the highest benchmark for metalworking training programs in the United States. “Local manufacturers have a strong desire to hire students who graduate from accredited programs,” says Rodney Jackson, dean, School of Business, Engineering and Technical Studies. “It is our responsibility to train...
Spotlight on Edgecombe Community College NCAMA Student Interns Spotlight on Edgecombe Community College NC Advance Manufacturing Alliance interns placed at Keihin Carolina System Technology facility in Tarboro.  Christopher Owens and Kaitlyn Phillips are gaining valuable industry experience while working toward their educational goals. Chris is enrolled in Manufacturing Technology and Kaitlyn is in the Electrical Systems program. Both Chris and Kaitlyn are doing well in the Engineering Department at Keihin Carolina System Technology as Test Interns, according to their intern supervisor who continues to encourage them to “keep up the good work.” The ECC students have expressed their appreciation on...
Dedication of A-B Tech's Composites Training Center of Excellence AB Tech celebrated the dedication of its Composites Training Center of Excellence on Thursday, November 6th.  This center is a key element supporting GE Aviation's expansion in Buncombe County.  To meet the exacting specialized training required by GE, AB Tech obtained funding from Golden Leaf Foundation and the NC Community College System enabling the new center to be the hub of advanced manufacturing composites training in western North Carolina.  Local news TV Channel WLOS carried a story about the dedication of the Center.  There are additional posts about the partnership between AB Tech and...
A-B Tech graduate honored with Governor's Award Although we probably don't communicate often enough about the many wonderful benefits partnerships offer, along comes yet another great success story providing proof of the increasing need to maintain and grow partnerships and community alliances.  At the 2014 NC Works Workforce Development Partnership Conference, A-B Tech graduate and current student (returned for second degree), Brian Mitchell was honored as the 2014 Governor's Award recipient: Outstanding Workforce Development Adult!  Brian has worked with and was nominated by his Case Manager/Skills Team Member at the NC Works Career Center, Asheville.  Brian's successes involved collaboration and partnering with...

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NCAMA Newsletter for September and October September and October were bumper months for Advanced Manufacturing Alliance community colleges.  A-B Tech added a new aerospace course, several companies went through expansions and were hiring college students and graduates and asking for interns and Haywood Community College's electronics engineering technology instructor was invited to join the World Maker Faire Teacher Team. October saw National Manufacturing Day being celebrated and several colleges partnered with industry and local schools to showcase their advanced manufacturing programs and educate attendees to these events on what advanced manufacturing is and the careers it offers. ...
Linamar announces next hiring phase for Arden plant Linamar announced that it was expanding operations at its Buncombe County manufacturing facility, creating 150 new jobs.  Linamar is an NCAMA industry partner served by A-B Tech, which has been providing specialized training for the company for the life of the grant.  NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said that the company would be investing about $115 million in the county.  Linamar is based in Guelph, Ontario and is a world-class designer and manufacturer of components and systems for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, the energy sector and of mobile industrial...