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Spotlight

NC community colleges investing in job creation with local business partnerships

Posted May 26

The North Carolina Community College's Customized Training Program is designed to close the skills gap by training workers to directly enter the workforce with the necessary skills.

This article was written for our sponsor, North Carolina Community Colleges.

In July 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were almost six million unfilled positions in the United States, which is the highest it's been in decades -- especially in the skilled area of manufacturing.

This "skills gap" signifies a mismatch between those looking for work and those looking to hire, and specialized training is needed for many of these positions in modern manufacturing.

Maureen Little, the North Carolina Community College System's vice president of economic development, said the NCCCS's Customized Training Program is designed to close this skills gap by training workers to directly enter the workforce with the necessary skills.

"The North Carolina Community College's Customized Training Program provides education, training and support services for two audiences: existing, expanding, and new business and industry; and individuals who wish to become a qualified candidates for employment within these organizations," Little said. "This is accomplished through our network of 58 community colleges."

She continued, "Our goal is to support the economic development of the state of North Carolina by providing a qualified workforce and supporting training that adds to the global competitiveness of our state's industries."

Little said the Customized Training Program focuses on companies that are adding jobs, investing in new technologies and "enhancing the productivity of their incumbent workforces."

Developing a Customized Experience

Once qualifying companies are identified, the community college and area business will collaborate to design a customized program that will develop exactly the skills that will be required for their labor demands.

"Working directly with the company, representatives from our local community college and the System Office design and develop a comprehensive training solution to address the knowledge, skills and abilities required to be a productive employee of the business and industry," Little explained. "We analyze each job classification and assess current and prospective employees to understand the skill gaps."

Trainees

Customized Training gives local job seekers an opportunity that was otherwise unavailable without this training.

Upon completing training and obtaining skills required for specific jobs, individuals are more marketable to industries which are experiencing growth.

In the 2016 fiscal year, the Customized Training Program worked with 942 companies operating in North Carolina. More than 35,000 students went through the training programs developed for these businesses.

"We recognize the availability of a well-trained workforce is a critical consideration for all companies as decisions are made for their next location," Little said. "With access to customized training, North Carolina Community Colleges are prepared to ensure that our state remains a premier location for the retention and expansion of business and industry."

This article was written for our sponsor, North Carolina Community Colleges.

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