SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College's Innovation Center will participate in National Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 2.
An open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Innovation Center, 5825 Clyde Rhyne Drive, Sanford. One-hour tours of the Innovation Center begin promptly at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Closed toe shoes are required.
Manufacturing Day has been designed to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers and manufacturing's value to the North Carolina economy.
"Manufacturing Day is special because of the people we are celebrating -- America's manufacturers," said Pamela Fincher, CCCC Industry Services Assistant. "While the most productive in the world, U.S. manufacturers are challenged with a growing gap in skilled labor.
"Our ultimate objective is for young students attending to be inspired to pursue manufacturing careers," said Fincher. "My hope is that the Innovation Center's contribution to this national effort will spark interest among our youth and start conversations in our communities."
Representatives from local industries will be on-site to showcase their company/products and help increase manufacturing awareness. Confirmed participants include AMP-Cherokee, Arauco, Caterpillar, Coty, Edelbrock, Floorazzo Tile, Frontier Spinning Mills, GKN Driveline, Gould and Goodrich, Heatmaster, International Precast, Magneti Marelli Powertrain USA, Mertek Solutions, Olympic Steel, Red Wolf, Russell Manufacturing, This End Up Furniture, and Warren Oil.
The Innovation Center is a world-class training center for industrial innovation. Facilities include a simulated work environment, a fully-outfitted welding lab, an instrumentation lab, as well as additional classroom space.
Why is manufacturing so important in the Central Carolina area?
Cathy Swindell, CCCC Director of Industry Services, notes: "According to a 2013 report by the Economic Policy Institute, North Carolina was in the Top 10 manufacturing states in the U.S. Manufacturing output in 2013 was near 21 percent of our state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounted for 11 percent of our total workforce, and reflected an average wage of $16.85 per hour.
"The Institute for Emerging Issues (N.C. State University) showed that for every dollar spent in the manufacturing sector, $1.35 is created in supporting services outside the plant; related to that, for each job in manufacturing, three are produced in support. Many of the jobs that are present in manufacturing typically require less than a two-year degree but relevant credentials beyond high school," said Swindell. "Workers needed for skilled labor positions such as welding, maintenance, quality, and machining are in high demand and becoming vacant due to generational retirement. Industry is becoming more hi-tech, carrying higher wages than other service-related jobs, bridging the research/production gap, and necessary to support the economic needs of our communities."
Central Carolina Community College's Industry Services office works with industries in Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties to maximize success through quality workforce training.
For more information on Manufacturing Day festivities at the Innovation Center, contact Pamela Fincher at 919-718-7490.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Pamela Fincher (left) and Cathy Swindell, of the Central Carolina Community College Innovation Center, look forward to hosting 2015 Manufacturing Day festivities.