by Mary Tom Bass

Keihin Carolina System Technology. Cummins. Tyson. ABB. SwimWays. World Cat. Kanban Logistics. Triangle Tire. Corning.

Companies in our region need skilled workers. Edgecombe Community College is the training solution.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, over the next decade, nearly 3½ million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap.

From left, ECC students Paxton Jordan, Kaitlyn Tripp, and Greg Vick perform maintenance and calibration tasks on a robot drive train. The College’s Robotics Lab utilizes robotics technology to simulate current manufacturing processes and conditions.

In addition, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average manufacturing worker earns more than $26.50 per hour, not including benefits.

Excellent jobs exist in Edgecombe County and across the state and nation in manufacturing.

Edgecombe Community College has strengthened and streamlined pathways for students who want to enter the manufacturing workforce.

ECC and Edgecombe schools already collaborate to expose students to manufacturing careers. Beginning in the ninth grade, students can take high school courses that map to college-level courses.

At no cost to them, high school students can earn college-level certificates in advanced manufacturing, industrial controls, engineering design, construction building, welding, and supply chain management. All of these certificates can be applied toward ECC diploma or degree programs.

Once students complete high school and enroll at ECC, 24 certificate, diploma, and degree opportunities are available in electrical systems, facility maintenance, industrial systems, advanced manufacturing, welding, and supply chain management.

In some programs, students can earn credentials in one or two semesters that will prepare them for entry-level jobs.

Local industries regularly visit ECC classrooms to recruit employees, and students often have jobs before they graduate.

“Having a pipeline of skilled workers is becoming more important as industry clients are increasingly interested in the local workforce and its level of skill development,” says Michael Starling, dean of the Division of Business, Industry, and Technologies.

“At Edgecombe Community College, we are working to prepare the workforce with the skill sets needed to be successful.”

For more information
Michael Starling
Dean of Business, Industry, and Technologies
823-5166, ext. 164
starlingm@edgecombe.edu