Enterprise Staff Report
JAMESTOWN — About 200 people from across the county recently attended the Guilford County Manufacturing Summit to learn about workforce development and trends in manufacturing.
Co-hosted by Business High Point-Chamber of Commerce and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the second of what is planned to be an annual event was held at the Guilford Technical Community College Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
Peter Hans, president of the N.C. Community College System, discussed the importance of community colleges in meeting the demand for a skilled workforce.
North Carolina’s community college system is well-regarded, Hans said. Last year, it attracted 36,000 jobs to the state.
The number of apprenticeships available to North Carolinians has doubled in the two years the system has been in charge of Apprenticeship NC.
The Triad is poised to be a leader in manufacturing, Hans said. Guilford County is consistently ranked as No. 1 in North Carolina and No. 4 in the Southeast for manufacturing.
“This is a special area with hardworking, capable people,” Hans said. “If Greensboro and Guilford County were a stock, I’d be buying it today.”
Guilford County Schools is working to make the area even more attractive to industry through its newly revamped Career and Technical Education program. This fall, the district launched five academies that provide career-specific learning experiences.
Among attendees were about 40 students enrolled in the new Academy of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, located at the Academy at Smith High School.
Three experts gave brief presentations on trends in manufacturing, followed by question-and-answer sessions with the audience. The experts were Therese Coon, coordinator for the business and industry training team at GTCC; Lizzy Tahsuda, director of Campus Greensboro, and Pete Gresens, director of compensation strategy at Volvo. Other speakers included Lonnie Miller, principal industry consultant at SAS, and Josh Ward, director of regional public affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers.
After the program, attendees were invited to tour the state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
“If you haven’t seen this space, I really encourage you to do so,” said Patrick Chapin, president and CEO of Business High Point-Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an amazing center here in our own backyard.”
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