CVCC Holds Inaugural Manufacturing Academy Graduation

2015 Manufacturing Academy GraduatesCatawba Valley Community College recently held a graduation ceremony for the first students to complete its Catawba Valley Manufacturing Academy.

The inaugural class includes 19 graduates, 10 of whom are incumbent workers and five of whom have received job offers to date. They are Doug Beaver of Hickory, David Clontz of Hickory, William Crenshaw of Hickory, Jasmine Hackett of Hickory, Daphne Hadley of Conover, Scott Hager of Morganton, Mac Harless of Hickory, Faye Honeycutt of Hickory, Ethan Johnson of Hudson, Matthew Jolly of Hickory, Michael Kammerer of Hickory, Jeffrey Lane of Vale, Austin Lutz of Hickory, Ismael Lozada of Hickory, Scottie Moses of Lenoir, Nicholas Pope of Hickory, Melissa Surratt of Hickory, Yiengyouav Yiengyouav [sic] of Hickory, and Donna Young of Hickory.

The first organizational meetings of the Catawba Valley Manufacturing Academy were held two years ago at the request of local manufacturers unable to find skilled workers for vacant positions. Employers designed the curriculum to produce job candidates prepared for positions that are in high demand. Completers are fast-tracked for open positions with sponsoring companies.

“We have created a pipeline of manufacturing ready associates,” said Joe Lutz, Human Resources Director for Turbotec Products in Newton, one of the sponsoring manufacturers. “This will be a huge economic development tool for our county to recruit and retain businesses. It’s a model we expect to be replicated all over the country,” added Lutz, who was one of the chief developers of the academy.

Based upon the Governor’s Award winning CVCC Furniture Academy model, the Manufacturing Academy teaches skills in problem solving, math and measurements, teamwork and communication, safety, and introduction to LEAN/continuous improvement processes.

Of the 19 in the inaugural class, 10 were incumbent workers with HSM Solutions and five have received job offers.

Local companies involved in creating and supporting CVCC’s Manufacturing Academy include:

· Advanced Pierre Foods
· Bernhardt Furniture Company
· CommScope Inc.
· Digipixart Inc.
· Geiger International
· GKN Driveline
· HSM Solutions
· Kellex
· Lexington Home Brands
· McKinley Leather
· Performance Foodservice Roma IFH
· Plastic Packaging
· Punker, Inc.
· Roll-Tech Molding Products, LLC
· RPM Wood Finishes Group
· Sarstedt
· Sherrill Furniture
· Shurtape
· Steele Rubber Products
· Sutter Street, Williams Sonoma
· Target
· Technibilt
· Turbotec
· United Beverages of NC
· Vanguard Furniture
· WestRock

For more information about the next Manufacturing Academy class starting January 25, 2016, contact Dana Glenn, Director NCWorks Jobs-Driven Initiative Program,
828-327-7000, ext. 4590,

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