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Career development center opens on RCCC campus

Staff report

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has opened an adult career development center in Kannapolis — the R3 Center — to assist displaced workers who are unemployed or under-employed.

It’s located at the intersection of Mooresville Highway and Loop Road.

The center’s mission is built on three Rs — refocus, retraining and re-employment.

It will try to provide a refocus on individual skills and interests; a retraining based on those skills and interests; and a partnering with other agencies to secure re-employment.

Castle & Cooke, developer of the North Carolina Research Campus, has provided the facility for the R3 Center, which includes 5,000 square feet and a large parking lot.

In time, the R3 Center could move to the research campus and be housed in RCCC’s 60,000-square-foot facility that is now in the architectural planning stage.

The center will serve as a link between the research campus and people looking for new career opportunities.

Career development counselors will help job-seekers determine if they need additional training or education to obtain a position on the research campus and in other emerging workforce areas in the region.

“Based on the college’s work with displaced Pillowtex workers,” said Jeanie Moore, RCCC vice president of continuing education, “we know the services provided by the R3 Center will help ensure local citizens benefit from the jobs created by North Carolina Research Campus.”

The R3 Center will help displaced workers assess and profile their skills, aptitudes, training, academic credentials and future career interests while developing a plan for career growth.

The center is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

To make appointments, people should call 704-788-3197, extension 765.

The center plans to offer later evening hours in the spring.

“The R3 Center will bridge the gap many citizens in Rowan and Cabarrus counties now feel as they attempt to re-start and re-direct their careers in an economy that has shifted from the traditional manufacturing sectors,” Moore said.

“In addition to providing the job-training and education programs needed by displaced workers, RCCC, through the R3 Center, will better assist workers in becoming more sophisticated in their job-searching skills.”

The R3 Center’s programs include resume writing, how to discuss one’s skills and experiences with confidence and sharpening job-interviewing skills.

The center also will provide Work Keys assessment and instruction. Completion of this program will give clients Career Readiness Certification, a nationally recognized credential, validating preparedness for specific career fields.

“The R3 Center will provide Rowan and Cabarrus County residents greatly enhanced career services,” Moore said. “These services are different from anything RCCC has previously offered. The programs will focus on the individual and his or her unique situation.”

The R3 Center will partner with other workforce development agencies, including the Centralina Workforce Development Board, the Local JobLink Career Centers, N.C. Employment Security Commission and other area community colleges.

Moore said: “Working closely with our workforce development partners, we also believe the R3 Center could become a model and be replicated in other U.S. communities that are facing the challenges of the evolving world economy.”

An open house celebration is planned from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 28, when the public is being invited to tour the new facility.

RCCC aims at providing the education and job-training programs needed to meet many of the workforce demands of the North Carolina Research Campus, under construction in Kannapolis.

For more details, see the RCCC website at www.rowancabarrus.edu.

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