During a presentation to the community about the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) during a June 2, 2021 Coffee Hour, Dr. Senegal spoke of how training has evolved to keep the pace in areas such as healthcare and information technology. However, advanced manufacturing efforts have lagged behind. To maintain current industries, as well as attract future ventures, an Advanced Technology Center is vital.

A 2019 feasibility study, supported by the Person County Board of Commissioners, recommended:

  • New construction, based on comparison of costs of renovations of existing campus spaces. ​
    • Determined that new construction was most economically feasible.​
    • New construction would triple PCC’s current capacity.
  • Locate the facility on Person County’s main thoroughfare – along 501, which would elevate its visibility and accessibility.​

As seen in the slides Senegal shared – images from PCC’s current classrooms and labs dotted with old and outdated equipment – our region lacks the facility needed to train for the jobs of the future.

“The amazing thing is that we have such wonderful faculty that even despite this kind of equipment, we’re still getting people nationally accredited, they’re still earning their AWS credentials,” shared Senegal. “Imagine what my faculty and students could do if we had up-to-date equipment.”

What Others are Saying:

“Having applicants and new hires who start with us be prepared with experience and training towards production and manufacturing positions is invaluable for POLYWOOD. When an employee who has already had training on manufacturing processes starts with us, supervisors are able to put them through our training more quickly due to the employee being equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for our positions; this saves us time and money on hiring.” 

– Meredith Summey, Human Resources Manager, POLYWOOD

Speed-to-market is another key driver for companies of all sizes. Large industries considering the Person County Mega Park want to know how we can provide them with skilled workers on Day 1. It is not sufficient to say that we will pursue an advanced training center once they commit, especially when we are competing with communities that already have these facilities in place and are more proximate to larger populations. An attractive, modern, highly-visible center that serves all aspects of the community may also have the effect of attracting more students and families to the area. It’s a momentum builder in all the key areas needed for economic success.”​

 – Sherry Wilborn, Person County Economic Development Director​

Preparing for the Future: Industry 5.0

Industry 5.0 is a new way of understanding manufacturing that has productive, economic and commercial consequences. Therefore, companies that do not tailor their production to the factory 5.0 model will soon become obsolete, being unable to benefit from the competitive advantages that it has to offer. *

Investment & Possible Funding

The 2019 feasibility study reviews future needs of local industries, programmatic diagrams, equipment lists, and photos from tours of similar locations in other NC regions.

  • Legislative allocation of $10 million ​
    • One-time federal monies coming to NC; would likely need to be spent within two years
    • Capital projects bill submitted​
  • NC Department of Commerce​
    • Direct grants tied to rural revitalization, multi-usage economic development projects
    • CDBG funds​
    • Federal funds from ARPA allocation​
    • Building Re-Use​
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA)​
    • Majority of funds require a 1:1 match, prefer multi-usage projects that meet economic and workforce development foci
    • Average grant awards typically between $500K and $2 million​
    • Economic Adjustment Act (EAA) will build on previously submitted EDA grant​
    • New guidance from ARPA allocation may allow greater funding support​
  • Other funders
    • Person County Commissioners
    • Regional grantors

* https://nexusintegra.io/industry-5-0-the-new-revolution/

**potential property locations removed from the public feasibility study for confidentiality purposes.

ATC Video Presentation
ATC Presentation (.pdf)
Feasibility Study** (.pdf)

Image from PCC’s Current Welding Lab PCC Welding Lab

Alamance Community College’s Advanced Applied Technology Center ACC Technology Center

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