PCC receives NC Rural Center Grant

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   Area residents who are unemployed or economically distressed now have a new option for re-training at Piedmont Community College (PCC) for available jobs in Person County and Caswell County through a program that begins next week. The College has received a grant from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center Inc. to fund a Workforce Certification Academy to provide individuals the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials that address identified skills gaps within the community.  

The program will offer short-term training through its Workforce Certification Academy in the areas of electrical, HVAC, and advanced manufacturing to address specific skill shortages identified by Person County and Caswell County industry representatives. The Academy will deliver the Certified Production Technician (CPT) program in its entirety and will be the only community college in the state to do so, according to Angela Webb, Director, Human Resource Development programs at PCC. The CPT program emphasizes industry-recognized credentials that will verify the manufacturing, electrical, and HVAC skills of displaced workers.  

PCC plans to implement the program beginning next week with a class that offers an orientation to the CPT program. “Orientation to CPT Training,” begins Thursday, Feb. 2, and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays through Feb. 28. Completion of the course is required for individuals who plan to enroll in the CPT training program, which will begin on March 7 and conclude on April 23.  

The orientation class will provide students the opportunity to brush up on basic computer skills, study skills, and test-taking strategies. They also may earn their Career Readiness Certificate, an industry-recognized credential.  The CPT training program will provide training for national certification in four areas: Safety Awareness, Manufacturing Processes, Quality Practices, and Maintenance Awareness. Students who complete this course will be prepared to obtain employment in advanced manufacturing facilities. Two more cycles of this training will be held in the next six months.  

The CPT course will be followed this summer with two licensure classes: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Electrical Processes. These classes will provide individuals currently working in these two fields the opportunity to become licensed in HVAC or Electrical Processes. 

 Financial assistance may be available to dislocated, unemployed, underemployed, and economically distressed individuals. For information, contact Ann Kirby, coordinator, at (336) 599-4620 or kirbya@piedmontcc.edu.  

The College is collaborating with local employers to develop training programs designed to cultivate a qualified candidate pool for job placement within their industries. Community partners CertainTeed Gypsum, Eaton Corp., and Spuntech have all agreed to screen applicants who earn the CPT credentials through PCC’s Workforce Certification Training Academy. JobLink Career Centers in both Person and Caswell counties have pledged their support.  

The Rural Community Mobilization Grant funds are provided to support community-driven workforce development strategies to help rural North Carolina residents who have been laid off or are in economic distress. PCC’s grant is valued at $70,000.