Business Support Spotlight: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Commitment to Workforce Development
From biotechnology to motorsports, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers unique workforce development and job training programs that support not only job seekers, but the business community as well.
“Our biggest mission is to make sure we have qualified people who can fill the needs of existing businesses or start their own business,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of Corporate and Continuing Education at RCCC. “We’re not just providing a workforce – we’re providing future business owners as well.”
To help companies become more competitive and profitable, RCCC helps them design custom, off-the-shelf programs and certification programs that benefit their existing workforce, inbound workers and candidates for new jobs.
When Alevo announced plans to bring its GridBank energy storage technology to Concord, the college helped the company recruit, pre-screen and interview candidates using customized employee and application portals. “Once an employee began the onboarding process, we created an apprenticeship program to develop their new skilled workforce,” Lamb said.
He added, “The college works hand-in-hand with businesses to engage them. We think it’s important that we not only have a prepared workforce, but we also help employers in making the critical person-job match well each time.”
In addition to supporting businesses with customized offerings, what also helps distinguish RCCC from other community colleges is its award-winning commitment to technology. “We recently were named the 6th best community college by the Center for Digital Education. We’re very proud of that recognition because we offer many opportunities in the area of information technology,” said Dr. Carol Spalding, president of RCCC.
For example, the Cabarrus Business and Technology Center houses many high-tech programs, including industrial machining, industrial maintenance, heating and air conditioning and electronics. She added, “We also offer specialty labs that allow us to bring existing employers or current students into an environment where they can learn state-of-the-art skills close to home.”
RCCC’s significant impact on the regional workforce is demonstrated not only through strong collaboration with the businesses it serves, but also through its focus on continued learning opportunities – whether it’s a biotechnology program at the North Carolina Research Campus, specialized training at the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute or a motorsports management-focused curriculum that blends both the entertainment and hospitality industries.
“That program is unique because I don’t think there is another college in the country that offers it and ours was created specifically for an industry that’s located right here,” Spalding said.
Another example of the college’s commitment to offering opportunities that directly serve the region is the addition of a new truck driver training program. “We helped create a truck driving school because we know that’s a very big and important area for many of the distribution centers here,” she said.
“We’ll be creating a center that’s specific to this region and this community – not a cookie cutter one that looks like everybody else’s,” she said. “It will reflect the kinds of engineering programs we need to have, the kind of growth industries we need to have, and it will be aligned with the business needs of this community.”
She added, “We want to always stay a step ahead to be able to deliver world-class training and offer our students the competencies they need. It’s a triple win: The community wins, the students win by becoming great employees and the businesses in our region prosper as well.”