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Job seekers hope to work in manufacturing industry, attend informational meeting

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — The main goal for Shahannah Adkins is to find a job that can offer her stability. The single mother of four currently works through temp services, but wants something more permanent.
She hopes she’ll find success with the NC Manufacturing Institute, a program designed to link residents to jobs in Rowan and Cabarrus counties in hopes that it solves the growing gap between regional job seekers and available positions in the manufacturing industry.

She was one of seven people who attended the first discovery session on Friday at the East Spencer town hall. The session was to merely introduce the program to interested participants who will then go on to attend classes in the fall.

The NC Manufacturing Institute was an initiative created in 2014 during a meeting with leaders from Rowan and Cabarrus counties from the chamber of commerce, economic development authorities, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Centralina Workforce Development Board.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College instructor David A. King told interested participants about the success stories of people who have already completed the classes and have gone on to work in the manufacturing jobs. He also explained requirements including passing a test for career readiness certification, a drug test and completing eight weeks of classes that will meet for four hours.

Adkins said she must drive at least 30 minutes to find a job with the temp service and it’s not a guaranteed paycheck because she may be sent home for the day if there is no work.

Ivan Chambers heard about the discovery sessions through his sister who is an East Spencer employee.

Chambers had previously been a truck driver, but said he wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with his three children because he was always on the road. He is a father of a 6-year-old, 4-year-old and an 8-month-old. He’s been a truck driver for the last three years.

Chambers said he not only wants to be able to work at a job that would provide more time for his family, he also wants to set an example for his children so they can see him furthering his skills and education.

Participants will have access to a $1,000 scholarship, which is money made possible because of money redirected from county commissioners after Tuscarora Yarns closed its China Grove plant. The county will receive $48,000 from the company through tax incentive money. The classes are being offered for free.

County Commissioner Greg Edds, who sat in on the session, said this program is something that is a concentrated focus to bring an industrial tax base and jobs to East Spencer.

The classes will include plant tours, resumé writing and help via mock interviews. There will also be a reverse job fair where employers will sit down to meet with potential employees.

The East Spencer discovery sessions will be held Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.

The classes for the certified production technician course begins from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 through Friday, Dec. 16.

To learn more about the discovery sessions, visit www.ncmanufacturinginstitute.com and to see the schedule for classes in Kannapolis, East Spencer and Salisbury.

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