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BCCC helps idX Impressions add jobs

Published 7:31pm Saturday, September 21, 2013

Beaufort County Community College is supporting idX Impressions’ plans to expand its facility and bring 159 new jobs to Washington during the next three years.

BCCC is providing specialized training for those employees who will fill those jobs. BCCC obtained $166,419 in funds for a customized training program for new employees and some existing employees and setting up a program to certify the skills of the new employees.

The company builds store fixtures for companies across the globe. Its customer list includes leading retailers, banks and telecom companies. It currently employs 84 people in North Carolina.
So far, three training classes have been conducted, with 15 people completing that training, according to Lauren Spruill, BCCC’s coordinator for customized training. There is funding to train about 200 more employees, she said.

“We were able to meet with management at idX a few months ago and discuss what type of training they would need to get their new hires up and running. We put together a training class that as soon as someone’s hired they’ll be able to go through about two weeks of training, eight hours a day,” Spruill said. “That will cover some safety, some math for measurements and some basic woodworking skills.”

Employees going through the training program do not pay a fee, she noted.

“That’s covered through the customized training program. We also provide funding for them pre-hire to take their CRC,” Spruill said. “We provide the funding for the students to take that.”

CRC stands for career-readiness certificate, which is an assessment-based credential that provides employers and career-seekers a uniform measure of key workplace skills. A CRC lets an employer know the person with the CRC has the necessary literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills to be “job ready.”

For job-seekers, the CRC serves as a portable credential that can be more meaningful to employers than a high school diploma or a resume citing experience in a different job setting.

“Absolutely,” replied Randy Roark, director of operations at the idX Impressions facility on Springs Road, when asked if the training program at BCCC is paying off for idX Impressions.

Roark said he met with Bob Heuts (Beaufort County’s economic-development director), BCCC officials and others involved in work-force training in Beaufort County to discuss his work-force needs for the expansion at idX Impressions.

“So that stemmed that whole work group to start helping me develop some kind of training programs. The community college and I worked real close on building a basic woodworking building class, a two-week course. We hired Steve Ainsworth,” Roark said. “I went to him and asked if he would be interested in teaching classes for me, and he did. So, the college hired him. Lauren Spruill helped me develop all of this and implement it.”

Roark said he’s pleased with the training program.

“It’s been extremely good because some of the operators have come out. My crew leaders said it’s so nice to have them go set up the saw and cut a piece of wood without having to show them how to do it,” Roark said.

Lou Stout, director of BCCC’s occupational extension, said the CRC program associated with the idX Impressions training program is a bronze-level certification. There are three levels of certification — bronze, silver and gold, with gold being the highest certification.

“We did profile that position (job), and it did profile out at bronze,” Stout said. “They (idX Impressions) will be requiring at least a bronze-level certificate.”

Stout noted other agencies are assisting with the idX Impressions expansion.

“We’re partnering with the JobLink career center here is Washington as well as the local (Division of Workforce Solutions) office. It’s a great, big partnership that all of us agencies have pulled together to facilitate the idX expansion,” Stout said.

 

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