Randolph Community College’s Computer-Integrated Machining program has received an additional grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The $240,000 grant will be used to purchase a CNC Milling Center and a CNC Turning Center to expand the Machining lab in the Continuing Education and Industrial Center on the Asheboro Campus.
“This additional equipment will help us better serve students,” said Garret Parker, department head for the Computer-Integrated Machining program, which prepares graduates for employment as machining technicians in high-tech manufacturing, rapid-prototyping and rapid-manufacturing industries, specialty machine shops, fabrication industries, and high-tech or emerging industries. “The students will be able to spread out and get more hands-on time.”
“The grant, awarded out of our Essential Skills in Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, will help manufacturers, some of our largest private-sector employers, with qualified workers,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. “The grants awarded under this Initiative will provide citizens from tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural communities with access to skills training for high wage jobs, connect the state’s industries with the skilled workers they need, and upgrade the capacity of our training institutions. North Carolina leads the Southeast in manufacturing jobs, with more than 18 percent of the rural workforce earning $8.5 billion in manufacturing wages.”
Randolph Community College was included in an $825,000 Golden LEAF Foundation grant for a consortium of Piedmont community colleges in January 2013, which was designed to allow the five colleges to coordinate training for jobs in computer-controlled machining; promote adoption of industry-recognized, third-party credentials; and build career pathways to attract high school students and others into advanced machining. RCC used the $145,000 from last year’s grant to purchase an OMAX waterjet machining center, in addition to supplies, raw materials, cutting tools, and professional development for instructors.
Parker said that enrollment in programs that use the CNC machines has increased, with around 85 students using the Machining lab in the CEIC every week. “The demand for new employees is also still strong,” he said, “with some employers calling to report 2-3 job openings at a time.” RCC has five local industries that routine hire graduates from this program and that trend is expected to continue.
For more information about this program and how to enroll, go to www.randolph.edu or call 336-633-0200.