Now meet Jeremy Silver, a 2013 graduate of Isothermal Community College. IEI met Jeremy during a recent community forum on manufacturing in Rutherford County. He knew all the right classes to take for a career in manufacturing – machining, information technology, and welding – but Jeremy thought he had to move from his hometown to find job opportunities. He does not.
“I’m not an expert in advanced manufacturing,” Jeremy told us, “But I’m learning everyday that rural areas like Rutherford County have a great chance to increase employment and help their economy by adapting to this mindset [of growing the local manufacturing base].”
nc community forums
Jeremy Silver is exactly the kind of person that IEI, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, North Carolina Community College System and North Carolina Cooperative Extension are reaching in community forums on manufacturing across the state.
These Forums are bringing together job seekers like Jeremy, local manufacturers, and educators to determine how we better ensure that we are training our students to have the necessary skill sets for a new generation of manufacturing jobs.
Rutherford, Stanly, and Lincoln Counties kicked off the manufacturing community forums earlier this month. Their county-level conversations on aligning education and manufacturing have identified the need for more apprenticeships, strengthening local industry-education partnerships, and rebranding local manufacturing.
“It was businesses and communities that started the community college, and businesses were connected with community colleges on a personal level,” Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President of Catawba Valley Community College, told the Hickory Record. “For some reason, they’ve gotten away from that relationship.”
Strengthening that relationship between educators – at all levels – and companies is key to bolstering local manufacturing and, in turn, increasing the wealth of local communities. I hope you plan to join this important effort. Click here to find when your county has planned its manufacturing community forum. We keep adding counties to the list as dates and venues are confirmed. If you do not see your county, please send me an email and I will let you know once your community forum is scheduled.
Let’s make manufacturing work for North Carolina.