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College to Provide Manufacturing Training through Project Skill-Up Funding This Month

GREENVILLE—Pitt Community College will help students ‘skill up’ for new careers this summer as part of the N.C. Community College System’s (NCCCS) Project Skill-UP program funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

According to PCC Director of Business and Industry Mary Paramore, Pitt will offer advanced manufacturing training next month through a $10,000-grant it received through Project Skill-UP. She says it’s an opportunity for individuals to earn portable industry credentials in just three weeks.

Paramore says instruction will be provided by the college’s Continuing Education Division and include a pair of Snap-on torque certifications, hands-on training in basic electricity, lean/six yellow belt certification, WorkKeys Applied Technology, blueprint reading, shop math and workplace communications. She says students will also learn how to interview for jobs and practice those skills.

“PCC developed this training program after meeting with local employers to determine the types of skills they were looking for in new employees,” Paramore said. “From the information we gathered, the college created a three-week program that will benefit the local workforce and area business and industry.”

The short-term instruction, she says, will take place July 21-23, July 27-30 and Aug. 4-7. A schedule with class meeting times is available on the PCC website.

In order to be considered for participation, Paramore says individuals must have Career Readiness Certificate scores of “4” in locating information, “4” in reading for information, and “3” in applied mathematics. To determine eligibility, she asked students to contact PCC’s Camesha McMillian at (252) 493-7266 or cmcmillian@email.pittcc.edu.

Registration for the training is underway and ends July 17. The cost is $185, though grant funding is available to cover tuition, fees and books for up to 20 applicants. Priority will be given to individuals or family members of those who grow or have grown tobacco, have had a tobacco quota or have worked in a tobacco-related industry, such as manufacturing.

Project Skill-UP was created to assist individuals in counties, like Pitt, that have been negatively impacted by the decline of tobacco-related employment. The program’s objectives are to recruit students adversely impacted by tobacco industry changes, provide skills assessment and occupational skills training to affected workers, and, when applicable, provide financial assistance to help students meet their educational goals.

Funding for the program comes through the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, which was created to implement a state statute established to assist tobacco-related entities by funding programs that support, foster and facilitate a strong agricultural economy in North Carolina. Over the past seven years, the commission has provided NCCCS with more than $3.4 million.

NCCCS awarded the $200,000 it received for Project Skill-UP this year to 16 of the 24 community colleges that applied for the funds. Of the state’s 58 community colleges, only 25 are eligible for Project Skill-UP grants.

PCC has utilized previous Project Skill-UP funds to support students pursuing a wide range of training options – from barber school to a variety of health care programs.