BCCC shows off advanced manufacturing programPublished 10:39pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Seth Talley Jr. showed his father what he has been up to since last summer.
The Talleys were two of nearly 200 people who attended Beaufort County Community College’s advanced-manufacturing open house Tuesday.
The college offers five programs: welding, machining, drafting and design, electrical and electronics. All were included on the tour.
Talley Jr. started the program last summer. He wanted to work for Flanders Filters, and needed to learn how to operate their machines.
“I took a cutting class and liked it,” he said.
His father, Seth Talley Sr., liked what he saw Tuesday night.
“The staff seems terribly committed,” said the elder Talley. “I’ve been interested in what the community college does for the young students, the training and job placement.”
“With this economic environment, this is the best situation we have,” he added.
The North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance organized the event. The alliance provides specialized training at 10 community colleges with grants that paid for some of the equipment that students use for training.
“This is our first time doing it,” said Juanita Gardner, recruiter and success manager of the advanced manufacturing program.
The open house was a part of a North Carolina Manufacturing Awareness initiative. Gardner said many people are not aware of the advances the skilled-manufacturing industry has had.
“The manufacturing industry is not what it used to be. It’s not just pushing buttons,” she said. “It requires a higher skill set and critical thinking.”
Matthew Lincoln, lead instructor of the machining program, listed some of the opportunities open to students in his program. He said it was great hands-on experience for students who planned to major in science or engineering.
“And we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the program,” he said.
In addition to seeing the advanced machines used in the course, people on his leg of the tour got to see the Beaufort County medallion and the dumbbells his students manufactured.
Students from six different areas took the tour. Beaufort County home-schooled and public-school students learned about the programs offered at BCCC.
“We’re just excited about the fact of how high schools really stepped up and sent their students to tour the program,” Gardner said.
Ted Clayton, lead instructor of the college’s welding program, stood before an art installation located in the center of his classroom Tuesday evening.
The work was an ongoing project made of scrap metal from PotashCorp-Aurora that was a testament to the skill of his students.
Clayton sprinkled his tour with anecdotes of his welding career and the dozens of companies that came to him when they had jobs to fill.
“I love for people to hear what’s going on,” he said.
He extended an invitation to those who took his tour to drop by anytime.
“If an instructor isn’t willing to talk to you, he isn’t a good instructor,” he said.