Jobs available to graduates of new manufacturing training program

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

SALISBURY — The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute is continuing to expand. With nearly 50 local manufacturers on board, job opportunities are growing as well.

Graduates with little to no manufacturing experience are securing employment by transforming themselves into career-ready manufacturing professionals through the free, eight-week training program. They gain knowledge and skills in safety, quality assurance, manufacturing processes and maintenance awareness.

“I absolutely love my job and can honestly say I never would have gotten a job like this if I hadn’t received the N.C. Manufacturing Institute scholarship and gone through the training program,” said Chris McDonald, a graduate of the institute. “My work is satisfying. I have a real career now. I’m getting paid vacations for the first time in my life, not to mention that I’m saving a lot of money on gas because the plant is only five minutes from my house.”

Those who have not considered manufacturing as a viable career option or those with no experience in the field should not be deterred from pursuing the program.

“While we hear a lot about low unemployment, many of us know people who are still piecing together multiple part-time jobs or who are desperately searching for a good job,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “This program is for anyone who wants a quality full-time job with full benefits. It doesn’t matter what your background is, it matters what your future is.”

There are well-paying jobs in manufacturing available in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Almost 90 percent of program graduates find full-time employment within one month of graduating.

The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute is a partnership conceived with leaders of Rowan and Cabarrus counties from both chambers of commerce, economic development authorities, the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Mitchell Community College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

It aims to build a pathway for people to acquire skills to access good manufacturing jobs in the local community, as it is specifically designed to link and leverage the assets of Rowan and Cabarrus counties to solve a growing gap between regional job seekers and available positions.

The growth and popularity of these clean, high-tech jobs has led to a high demand for a qualified workforce. Selected participants enroll in the program for free, thanks to support from local manufacturers. They graduate with two national certifications – the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s certified production technician and the Career Readiness certification.

“Our scholarship fund, financed by local employers, ensures that we can offer this training at no cost to the individual. They also plan to hire many of the graduates,” said Lamb. “Individuals train 20 hours per week for a total of eight weeks. Upon completion, they are qualified for 90 percent of manufacturing jobs in our area.”

Hiring managers from the institute’s partner companies are given the graduates’ resumes and are invited to the college campus to meet graduates for a preliminary interview to kick off their search for employment. Follow-up interviews and multiple employment offers are often a direct result.

The next eight-week training program begins soon. Morning and evening classes are available to accommodate employment schedules and family obligations.

For information, call 866-418-9257, contact Donna Ludwig at, or complete an interest form on the N.C. Manufacturing Institute website,

The college is accepting applications for eight-week classes beginning in March, as well as summer and fall courses.