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Bladen Community College receives Economic Development Grant

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3 million grant to the Bladen Community College to help build an Advanced Manufacturing building on the college’s main campus.

The Department of Commerce is committed to helping communities develop a workforce with 21st century skills, said Secretary Pritzker. “As part of the ‘Skills for Business’ initiative, this EDA investment will allow Bladen Community College to establish a facility that will provide local workers with the training they need to compete for high-skill jobs being offered by regional employers.”

The facility will include an industrial chemistry laboratory, an advanced manufacturing technology simulation laboratory a STEM supporting computer classroom, a designated STEM courses classroom, office space and an advanced technology industry bay.

Programs housed in the building will serve students from the North Carolina Community College Career and College Promise Program and the News School Program in Bladen County Public Schools.

“This will change the way we deliver education,” remarks President William Findt, “We are moving toward the acquisition of a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance what and how we teach.”

The project is a collaborative effort among the college, the Bladen County Economic Development Commission, the Bladen County Commissioners, and local businesses and industries that are concerned about the availability of highly skilled employees in STEM and advanced manufacturing related fields.

Jeff Kornegay, executive vice president, reports that the new industrial lab will increase students’ performances in job interviews.  “With new virtual welding simulators, students will be prepared for job screening interviews that use virtual welding technology as part of the interview.”

With the advanced manufacturing laboratory, students will learn how to use Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing applications with automation studios to plan, design, and implement various manufacturing scenarios. 

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