Print
Education

Education To Grow A Workforce

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Nov 1, 2019
A student practices welding at Cape Fear Community College's Burgaw campus, where the college plans to grow the program. (Photo c/o CFCC)
Cape Fear Community College is in the process of expanding and adding several programs at its Burgaw campus to fuel the local workforce and provide the tools for people to get higher-paying jobs.
 
The college is able to double the capacity of its accelerated welding program curriculum and add new programs in Pender County with an expanding footprint at CFCC’s Burgaw Campus off Industrial Drive, said John Downing, vice president of CFCC’s Continuing Education division.
 
The continuing education division approaches economic development in three ways: through the college’s small business center, its state-funded customized training programs and workforce development programs, Downing said.
 
Several workforce development programs have been implemented at CFCC based on industry needs and to meet current and future job growth, he said.
 
The college is in the process of working on two warehouse buildings formerly owned by Burgaw-based Mojotone LLC, which has moved to the Pender Progress Industrial Park. Meanwhile, Pender County is expected to buy the buildings for $576,000.
 
“Pender County’s purchase of the former [Mojotone] buildings in Burgaw will enable CFCC to expand vocational and trade-related training opportunities for our local workforce. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with CFCC and Pender County Schools to help address the skilled labor gap that exists in our area,” Pender County Manager Chad McEwen said of the growing campus.
 
Growing the welding program there will fill workforce gaps more quickly, Downing said.
 
In addition, CFCC plans to add a six-month diesel mechanics program to the campus and an HVAC apprenticeship program.
 
The course length of the HVAC apprenticeship program has not been determined.
 
And a new three-week production technician training program is also in the works for Burgaw, to prepare people for entry-level jobs in a manufacturing plant, Downing said.
 
Many of these new courses are slated to start early next year.
 
In New Hanover County, the 10- week electrical lineworker program, based at CFCC’s North Campus, received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration in September. The program started in mid-2018 and has had 144 graduates, with an estimated 98% job placement, Downing said.
 
But outside of the courses, CFCC’s Small Business Center in downtown Wilmington is also playing a role in economic growth for both New Hanover and Pender counties.
 
In the past fiscal year, the center served more than 200 prospective and existing small business owners in the two counties, and helped create 101 jobs and start 22 new businesses, Downing said.
 
“Some of these are contractors in the construction area. Some of these are farmers in Pender County,” he said.
 
In addition, the college’s customized training program is part of the economic development package that the state sets aside to attract new companies or allow existing companies to grow, he said.
 
Firms must qualify for the program and can receive two- to three-year instructional plans, he said. CFCC currently has nine approved programs.
 
“The job growth in those approved customized training programs over the next three years is 421 jobs,” Downing said.
 
The college also works with the local economic development agency, Wilmington Business Development, to help attract new companies to the area with the program.
 
“It’s a great tool for economic development to get these companies in here,” Downing said, “and [has] helped them to expand.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a recent change in John Downing's title.
 

Special Section: Rural Economy 

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Covid-19 Pandemic: Implications For Managers And Human Resources

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
Chris coudriet

New Hanover County Awards $1.3 Million To 130 Local Small Businesses

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

Getting A Jump On Job Skills

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Trending News

Analysts Say Successful IPO Could Bring Many Benefits To NCino

Jenny Callison - Jul 10, 2020

Opinion: The $2B Investment Decision

Rob Kaiser - Jul 10, 2020

County Commissioners Next In Line To Consider Novant Negotiation For Hospital

Cece Nunn - Jul 10, 2020

SBA Administrator: Businesses Should Take Advantage Of PPP Extension

Jenny Callison - Jul 10, 2020

In The Current Issue

New Eateries Still Open Despite Virus

While some restaurants have gone out of business and others are still temporarily closed, others are expanding....


Businesses Continue To Adapt To Times

An update on how businesses that were part of the Working Through It series are still coping as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, starti...


The Financing Issues Driving NHRMC Talk

While stakeholders and the public in New Hanover County may differ on the best path toward a sustainable future for New Hanover Regional Med...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`