Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) will receive just under half a million dollars in grant funding from the North Carolina Golden LEAF Foundation to boost its Computer-Integrated Machining Technology program. As we’ve noted in the past here at IMT Machining Journal, the Golden LEAF Foundation is an organization in North Carolina that redistributes tobacco profits to local areas that have contributed to tobacco growth or have economies that are tobacco-dependent.
The money will be used to update RCCC’s machining capabilities and enhance the educational experience for students.“Right now, our equipment for the machining program isn’t up to speed with the industry. In order to ensure that our students get the best practical training possible, we need them to work on the same equipment that is used in these companies,” RCCC instructor Jason Hill explained to local paper Salisbury Post. “You can’t just talk about these skills — students need to actually perform them in a simulated environment.”
The grant will also help the college connect students with local businesses in Iredell and Stanly counties in need of machinists. RCCC has also partnered with East Carolina University to make credits received in the Computer-Integrated Machining Technology program transferable if students wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the latter school’s Industrial Engineering Technology program. Additionally, the Golden LEAF grant will help fund aspects of an agreement to partner with local high schools to train pre-college students in various STEM education tracks geared toward machining.
“Rowan-Salisbury Schools will continue to support the college as it expands its specialized training for specific skill sets needed in today’s workplace, provides more short-term certificate and diploma offerings, and enhances the two-year degree program,” stated Judy Grissom, superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury School System, in her letter of support. “These program improvements will ensure that our students are well-prepared for future employment.”
RCCC will have most of the updated machine tools and education infrastructure in place by the start of the fall semester this year.