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

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Posted by on in News & Updates
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!      ...
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...
Field Trip to Ruhl Tech Engineering FTCC’s Computer-Integrated Machining program took a class field trip to Ruhl Tech Engineering located in Spring Lake, North Carolina. Ruhl Tech Engineering specializes in designing and manufacturing collapsible breaching tools, collapsible ladder systems, breaching doors, weapon accessories, targets and vehicle weapon systems. Their customers includes Fort Bragg as well defense training clientele both nationally and internationally. The President/Owner, Andrew Ruhland, is a trained Journeyman Tool & Die Maker with a military background. Operations Manager, Damion Farrington, attended FTCC to further enhance his welding skills and earned a Basic Welding Certificate in...
Amazing Ashebots Youth Robotic Program Sponsored by A-B Tech Ashebots is a non-profit educational organization emphasizing youth robotics, utilizing the FIRST family of programs, and working out of space generously provided by Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.  Our purpose is to mentor youth in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), preparing them to participate in the technological growth of Western North Carolina.Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is one of our founding sponsors and is our top level in-kind sponsor. A-B Tech generously provides Ashebots with our own workspace and classroom access. We are grateful for their support throughout the years.According...
KUKA robot training at Craven Community College Bosch's continuing efforts to educate and diversify their staff makes them one of our most valued industry partners.  The group seen in the picture is comprised of supervisors, electricians, and maintenance technicians who are receiving basic programming training.  Bosch currently, has five KUKA robots in different areas and is awaiting the arrival of two additional robots.  The students starting the Bosch apprenticeship program that was created with Craven Community College starts this fall. Robotics students will receive the same training.  ...
Over 150 People Attend Open House for Latinos On July 17, 2014, NCAMA staff at Robeson Community College sponsored an Open House for Latinos.  Robeson County has a large Latino population and the goal of the Open House was to reach out to this community.  Nuri Collado, Success Manager, faculty and current students were on hand to provide tours of the labs and discuss opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing.  Other departments across campus also participated in this event.  Over 150 people attended this event resulting in at least 10 students who have since applied to the college for the Fall 2014 semester....
Power Cat Plant Manager Inspires Edgecombe Community College Electrical Systems Students Power Cat Plant Manager Kenneth Brown visited the Electrical Systems class at Edgecombe Community College on July 14 and discussed the world-class vessels made at the Tarboro, North Carolina, facility. Power Cat is serious about making quality boats and has set up impressive processes of continuous and standardized workflow.  Mr. Brown talked to the students about the expert skills needed for electrical wiring and the harnesses used. He is looking for associates who will take pride in well-made boats and will support team members with outstanding soft skills such as attendance...
NC Works and Edgecombe Community College Join Forces to Help Students Get Back to Work Diane Thomas, manager of the Edgecombe Nash NC Works Center, brought NC Works to Edgecombe Community College’s Electrical Systems classroom on July 14. Alberta McGuire from the Talent Engagement Team and Sandra Smith of the TRIO program introduced the students to the NC Works online features and virtual recruiter. Electrical Systems Instructor Doug Parrish incorporated lab time for the session in order to help the students market the skills they gained, such as industry wiring, motors and controls, interpreting electrical schematics, and PLCs. Several of the students in the class will...

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A Visit from Hog Slat, Inc. One of the goals of NCAMA is to network with local industry to form partnerships and job opportunities for students.  One of our new industry partners is Hog Slat, Inc. With headquarters located in Newton Grove, North Carolina, Hog Slat, Inc. found its niche in the manufacturing industry by creating specialized hog farm equipment. Hog Slat, Inc. is the largest contractor and manufacturer of hog equipment in the United States with approximately 1,000 people directly employed. Jamie Thomas, Recruiting and Training manager for Hog Slat, Inc. was generous enough to come to FTCC...
Surry to offer new Mechatronics Program Fall 2014

Surry Community College has added a new program to its advanced manufacturing lineup of training.  The mechatronics program will be offered for the first time in the Fall semester of 2014. The skills sets taught in mechatronics is a combination of electronic and electrical engineering, which helps trainees to troubleshoot and repair manufacturing systems that now commonly use computer code based interfaces along with their hardware.  This video provides some insights into the program for students interested in enrolling. 

Posted by on in News & Updates
The Alliance Newsletter for June 2014 This month's newsletter reminds us that two years ago in the Fall, the first enrollees in advanced manufacturing programs started at NCAMA colleges across the state - and they received their Associate Degrees in May.  The newsletter also has a number of other firsts - a mace made by Beaufort County Community College's advanced manufacturing department used for the first time at graduation; the first training by a mobile lab at a visit to a local manufacturing company; and a first offering of an industrial maintenance program at the Davie campus...