Grant funds new training at BCCC

Published 8:33 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beaufort County Community College has been awarded a $120,000 North Carolina Back-to-Work grant that will fund a new worker training program beginning in January at the college.
The grant is a result of a partnership between the N.C. Community College System and the N.C. Department of Commerce funded by appropriations from the N.C. General Assembly. It provides funds for a Certified Production Technician Program at BCCC that will qualify those who complete it for entry-level jobs in area industries.
“The program started as a pilot last year,” said Lou Stout, director of Occupational Extension at BCCC and the program’s supervisor. “When it was funded this year, it was funded for all 58 community colleges, if you wanted to apply.”
The college formed a team that included representatives from each county BCCC serves and developed a training program that encompassed four categories of skills needed in a manufacturing or production job – safety; quality and continuous improvement; manufacturing processes and production; and maintenance awareness. Each completed category will give the student a credential showing their mastery of the subject. If all categories are completed, a fifth credential will recognize the feat.
Students will also earn a Career Readiness Certification, a nationally-recognized credential that verifies to an employer their skills in the areas of Reading for Information, Applied Math and Locating Information.
BCCC President Barbara Tansey said the college was excited receive the N.C. Back-to-Work grant.
“The Certified Production Technician credential will give unemployed and underemployed workers in our four-county service area skills they need to find a job or qualify for a better job,” she said. “This is just the latest example of how BCCC strives to be an active partner in the economic development of the region.”
That partnership played a significant role in BCCC receiving the grant. Stout said the application process included a requirement for letters from local manufacturing companies willing to participate in the program.
Of the 25 largest employers in BCCC’s service area of Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties, 20 percent are manufacturers who will benefit directly from the Certified Production Technician Program.
“Each of the region’s 91 manufacturers has the potential to benefit from the program as there will be better qualified individuals applying for positions who come with an industry-recognized credential,” Stout said.
Several companies agreed to interview students who completed the project, providing insight in the employment process, if not an actual job.
BCCC will offer the Certified Production Technician coursework for an initial group of 100 students, according to Stout.
This training will “provide a key platform for unemployed, underemployed, active-duty military and veterans to master the skills needed for front-line production work,” she said.
It will be offered free of charge to unemployed and underemployed workers who qualify.
BCCC will hold informational fairs in each of the counties in its service area to provide more information about the program in the coming weeks.
For more information, interested persons may contact Stout by telephone at 252-940-6307 or by email at