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PCC receives $500,000 from NC Golden LEAF Foundation

Published Tuesday, October 13, 2020
by Elizabeth Townsend

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In collaboration with local manufacturing and HVAC companies, Piedmont Community College (PCC) was awarded one of 10 grants, in the amount of $500,000, from Golden LEAF’s Opportunities for Work (GLOW) grant. This allocation will specifically address the “urgent workforce issues facing North Carolina.”

As one of two community colleges to receive the GLOW grant, and the only grantee that received the maximum amount awarded by Golden LEAF, PCC can help address the urgent issues through short-term training, national credentials, guaranteed interviews, and paid work experience..

In recent years, businesses and industries have struggled to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates statewide due to low unemployment rates. With positive job growth, increases in skills levels needed to meet the demands of this job growth, and the limited number of available individuals to pull from in the local workforce, companies will find even more difficulties filling the estimated 400,000 new jobs projected statewide by 2026.

To address the needs of NC’s employers, Golden LEAF developed the GLOW initiative to identify and train those unemployed workers with barriers to employment in order for them to meet future hiring needs. In the next few year, over half of the new jobs will require post-secondary training and/or credential.

The 10 Golden LEAF GLOW grants were awarded to various community agencies in North Carolina. Aimed at assisting individuals by increasing their work skills and removing work barriers, the grant will provide funds to pay for a wide array of services to those unemployed and underemployed.

Such services include short-term skills training for the following PCC courses:
• Advanced Manufacturing and Automation
• Certified Production Technician
• Certified Logistics Technician
• BioWork Process Technician
• CDL Class A
• HVAC

The Grant Team will work with individuals to select the most appropriate career pathway, as well as arrange supportive services such as transportation and paid work experience, to enhance the learning of new skills needed for the existing jobs available in our area.

Additional equipment will also be purchased to enhance hands-on learning in order to increase opportunities for students to obtain industry-recognized credentials. The Grant Team will also work with individuals who have low reading and math skills, work ethic deficiencies, criminal records, little or no computer skills, and transportation and childcare issues to receive the services needed to alleviate these barriers to successful training completion and job attainment.

How to Get Started With Free Services:
To participate in the grant, individuals must enroll in PCC’s Employability Skills for Career Pathways Lab at the Business Development and Entrepreneurships Center (BDEC) located at 105 N. Main Street in Uptown Roxboro. The free lab is open with instructor led assistance on:
• Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
• Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (limited computer assistance available)
• Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

There are no costs for unemployed or underemployed individuals enrolling in PCC’s Employability Lab.

Upcoming Programs:
October: Certified Production Technician (CPT) training begins at the end of the month to train those who have little to no manufacturing experience or need to obtain new skills for assembly positions that have changed due to the increased automation of manufacturing processes.

January: Certified Logistics Technician (CLT), BioWork Process Technician, and HVAC-Air Conditioning.

Local Businesses Guarantee Interviews for Successful Students:
Polywood, GKN Driveline, P&A Fabrication, Spuntech Industries, and WestRock have all agreed to interview successful graduates from PCC’s CPT program upon completion of training.

In addition, students needing additional training in an actual manufacturing environment may be able to participate in paid work experience for 200 hours with a local manufacturing company.

For those ready to get started, contact the PCC Team at (336) 599-0032 or visit the BDEC on Tuesday or Thursday to enroll in the free Employability Lab. You may also contact Karen Peterson at (336) 322-2188 or Karen.Peterson@piedmontcc.edu.
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