College News

PCC adds new training equipment to its Certified Production Technician class with support from the Golden LEAF Foundation

Published Thursday, September 12, 2013
by Elizabeth Townsend

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                                  Next class starts Sept. 17

When Piedmont Community College (PCC) begins the next round of its successful Certified Production Technology (CPT) program next week, it will offer students enhanced training opportunities, made possible by a Golden LEAF grant, and an opportunity to apply the training towards a PCC degree.

The Golden LEAF Mid-Skills Training Initiative grant allowed PCC to purchase a 5,000 pound capacity forklift, a Flexible Manufacturing System, and a Hydraulics Fundamental Training System, enhancing hands-on learning opportunities and demonstrations for students in the program.

To accommodate the new training, PCC extended the CPT program to 192 hours of instruction. As a result, students also may track into an Associate in Applied Science degree. “Through coordination with PCC Curriculum programs, students who successfully complete the enhanced CPT training will have an opportunity to acquire seven credit hours towards an Industrial Systems Technology degree through credit-by-exam if they are interested in further training,” said Angie Webb, Dean, Workforce Development.

There’s also another benefit for CPT program graduates. All students who obtain their CPT credential will have their expenses paid to receive Fork Lift Operator Training to increase their employment prospects, if they so choose.

“All costs associated with the CPT training are paid for through a variety of grants and are provided free for those who are unemployed and underemployed. However, to access those grants, you must attend the initial component of the program: Orientation to Certified Production Training,” said Webb. “Travel assistance is also available to students after completion of the Orientation class to support continued travel to the Workforce Training Center for the 192-hour CPT course.”

The next session of Orientation to CPT will begin Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 9 a.m. at PCC’s Workforce Training Center, located at 303 S. Morgan St., Roxboro.

PCC’s CPT program leads to industry-recognized credentials awarded through the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and prepares job seekers for entry- and intermediate-level positions in the advanced manufacturing field.

“Five local employers have indicated intent to create up to 300 jobs over the next three years and have committed to screen and hire graduates of this program. Even if you have never worked in a manufacturing environment, receiving this credential will meet the requirement that you have manufacturing experience to apply for local jobs,” said Webb.

The CPT program is helping people find jobs in Person County. Doug Long is one CPT graduate who started work at Eaton Corp. as a machine technical lifter shortly after he graduated. “I believe what I learned in the CPT training helped me find my present job and was the reason I was hired for this job,” said Long. “Before the training I was employed on a seasonal job without any benefits. With my new position, I am full-time with full benefits. My current position is very compatible with what I learned in the CPT training, and without the training I don’t believe that I could have found a full-time position so quickly.”

PCC has provided this training to 112 students looking for work in local manufacturing companies since beginning the Workforce Certification Academy© in January 2012. After successfully completing the College’s Orientation to Certified Production Technician class, 56 students were referred to and sponsored in the actual Certified Production Technician skills training for 174 hours of instruction. Since program implementation, 70% of enrolled CPT students have actually obtained the national Certified Production Technician Certificate. Of those, 39 individuals (69% of CPT graduates) have gone to work with wages averaging $14.13 per hour. In addition, 52 of all the students served through the program have obtained employment averaging $12.91 per hour.

The Workforce Certification Academy© offers the Certified Production Technology program and the Certified Logistics Technology program as well as forklift operator training, all leading to nationally-recognized manufacturing credentials. The program has been held up as a model for other North Carolina community colleges and has been featured on NC Now on UNC-TV this summer as well as in Impact Magazine, produced by BioNetwork and distributed statewide.

For more information on the Workforce Certification Academy’s Certified Production Technician training beginning next Tuesday or other WCA© programs, contact Jeanette Godsey at (336) 322-2133 or Angela Webb at (336) 322-2132.

Photo information
PCC Workforce Certification Academy© instructor Mike Cobb, pictured right, uses the College’s Flexible Manufacturing System to explain a manufacturing process to students. PCC purchased the trainer using funds it received from a Golden LEAF Mid-Skills Training Initiative grant.