DOBSON — The Surry Community College Board of Trustees announced a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support the purchase of technical training equipment for Advanced Manufacturing programs.
Jimmy Flythe, Duke Energy director of Government and Community Relations-West Region, made the grant award at the trustees meeting on Monday evening.
“Duke Energy is excited to support Surry Community College with this workforce development program. Having a well-trained workforce for today’s jobs is a key component for economic development,” Flythe said.
The college will begin construction of a 10,000-square-foot Industrial Training Center for its Yadkinville location this spring. The center will house Welding Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining, and Mechatronics Engineering Technology initially with plans to expand course and program offerings.
College President Dr. David Shockley addressed the group commenting, “Duke Energy’s support for this most critical educational advancement demonstrates their commitment to the citizens served by Surry Community College and to the economic growth of this region of North Carolina.”
The construction of the Industrial Training Center to offer job-oriented training with short term investment of time and reasonable expense will be transformational for Yadkin County. The SCC Division of Business, Technologies and Health Sciences projects offering eight to 10 courses of study per semester beginning with Mechatronics in fall semester 2016. College Transfer classes also will be among the programs offered in Yadkinville.
The addition of the center and related programming will for the first time in the history of Yadkin County allow students to receive a certificate, diploma or degree without leaving the Yadkin County campus of Surry Community College. This initiative begins the process of backfilling current job openings and creating a conduit for economic growth and stability.
Yadkin County has a strong Advanced Manufacturing presence that has expressed growing concern related to the lack of qualified job applicants to fill vacant and expansion driven positions. Yadkin County is one of the region’s most competitive markets for community college students with I-77 and U.S. 421 traversing the county. Recent demographic data documents the loss of the 18-to-24 year old population from the county. This training opportunity will enable students to be trained and employed without leaving their community.