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CCCC graduate tapped for major role at Caterpillar

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Click to enlarge,  Todd Thomas, a graduate of Central Carolina Community College, has been named quality assurance supervisor at the Caterpillar Fabrication Facility in Sanford.

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Todd Thomas, a graduate of Central Carolina Community College, has been named quality assurance supervisor ... (more)

06.20.2013College & CommunityCurriculum ProgramsStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Todd Thomas, a graduate of Central Carolina Community College, has been named quality assurance supervisor at the Caterpillar Fabrication Facility in Sanford.

Thomas, who received Associate of Applied Science degrees in both Business Administration and Human Resources Management from CCCC, credits his educational preparation for helping him land the job.

"The Human Resource Management aspect of my education helped me deal with the people side of the business and the business degree helped me navigate the broad learning base that the job requires, including knowledge of accounting, statistics, management, information systems, finance, risk management and much more," Thomas said.

Completing degrees in Business Administration and Human Resources Management also made Thomas realize he wanted to continue his education. In 2012, he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Franklin University.

"There were so many things I liked about CCCC," Thomas said. "I liked the interaction with everyone in my classes, as well as the instructors. The students are diverse and that is the culture at Caterpillar. I liked the demanding assignments and working to deadlines, and I liked the mix of online classes and classes on campus because it fit my schedule as a husband and working parent. I am an advocate for people going to CCCC, then going from there to pursue a bachelor's degree."

According to George Clayton, CCCC Human Resource Management lead instructor, Thomas was an outstanding student.

"We often spoke of the importance of his objective of earning a bachelor's degree and how that experience would not only expand his knowledge of management practices, but also prove to Caterpillar that he was the type of employee who was a good critical thinker and logical decision maker," Clayton said. It's encouraging to see how well Todd's work ethic and investment in education have paid dividends - for himself and for Caterpillar."

The world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, Caterpillar, Inc., reports a world wide full-time employment total of 124,874 and sales and revenues for the first quarter of 2013 at $13.2 billion. The Caterpillar Sanford plant employs more than 700 people and manufactures a variety of machines, including Skid Steer, multi-terrain and compact track loaders.

As a quality assurance supervisor at Caterpillar, Thomas provides support for quality initiatives in facility operations, supplier quality issues, and materials technology.

"My position is responsible for ensuring our company complies with global quality processes, day-to-day management of quality resources and the training of competent and dependable employees," Thomas said. "The goal of the quality assurance supervisor is to contribute to the prevention of product defects by eliminating the cause and maintain quality standards by providing proper inspection of tools, procedures and tests. I am typically responsible for the quality associated with a product line or value stream, including auditing and certification."

Thomas explained that he must also deal with Human Resources issues.

"People will come to me about personal issues, work-related matters and all kinds of issues in-between," he said. "At times, I feel like a coach, career planner and psychologist all wrapped up in one. At the end of the day, though, it is rewarding to feel like you've helped your team get through something they might not have otherwise done."

A native of Peru, N.Y., Thomas stepped into the position of quality assurance supervisor at Caterpillar in November of 2012. He is a former operations supervisor at the facility.

His future objectives are pretty straightforward: "I want to enjoy a long, stable, successful career at Caterpillar and a loving family," he said. "I would also like to thank CCCC, especially Jon Matthews, the former dean of University Transfer, Health Sciences and Developmental Studies, and George Clayton, who spent countless hours guiding me, helping me find answers to my endless questions and helping me to achieve this career goal."

For more information about the Business Administration and Human Resources Management programs at CCCC, visit or contact Michael Fann, Business Administration, 919-718-7468 or e-mail at; or George Clayton, Human Resources Management, 919-718-7446 or e-mail at