Archive for September, 2018

9/21/2018 – Google helps community with technology skills

Posted on: September 21st, 2018 by admin


September 21, 2018


By Virginia Annable
Torie Hicks held a cardboard box close to her face as she turned her head around. Around her, crowds of people talked to Google employees, stood hunched over computers and ogled the transformation of the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center into a high-tech showroom.
But inside Hicks’ virtual reality headset, made of cardboard but powered by a smartphone, Hicks saw a whole other world.
More than 200 people — teachers, business people, local officials and everyday job seekers — went to the civic center Thursday for Lenoir’s first Grow with Google event, similar to Googlefest in years past, where people could learn how to use Google products and gain new digital skills.
Hicks, a media teacher in Caldwell County, said she would use the technology she learned about Thursday in her classroom.
“I’m getting more resources to use with the kids,” Hicks said. “I use Google Classroom (a free web service to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments) already, but I’d like to use even more technology.”
One of the four workshops Google held, inspiring students using technology, was perfectly aimed for Hicks’ goals, which is what got her excited about the event to begin with, but it was not the only thing she did that day.
Apart from workshops, the main event space was filled with various things for people to do. A booth with two Google employees, or Googlers, in grey sweatshirts and several laptops welcomed small business owners to make themselves easier to find on Google Maps. On the other side of that booth, enthusiastic Googlers greeted job seekers to teach them how to use Google’s job search engine. Yet another booth, manned by Googlers in orange-and-grey shirts, showed people Google’s applied digital skills tools online, which teach people how to make a budget, negotiate a salary or how to use digital tools in the workplace.
Josh Blackburn, also a teacher in Caldwell County, said the applied-digital-skills-tool booth was his favorite because it taught skills he can take back to his students.
“Digital skills are a life skill now, like reading or writing. People are going to use it no matter where they work or what field they go into,” Blackburn said.
Everyone’s willingness to learn those skills was the favorite part for Lilyn Hester, the head of Google’s external affairs in the Southeast. She said the event was a testament to Caldwell County’s willingness to grow.
“It says a lot for Caldwell County and the surrounding areas to really come out and be willing to learn,” Hester said.
To put on the event, Google partnered with local organizations including the Caldwell County Public Library, the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and Communities in Schools, all of whom were at the event to lend professional advice where they could.
Throughout the day, people filed in and out of the civic center, talking to one another, sharing their experiences, interests and goals, and learning new skills.
“It’s great to see people bump into each other and share ideas and collaborate,” Hester said.

9/12/2018 – Local officials seeking to expand youth job skills training

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by admin


September 12, 2018


By Guy Lucas
(Lenoir) News-Topic


Local education officials are exploring where they can add programs for workplace-related training, including for high school students.


A program launching early next year to allow high school students to gain skills needed for furniture upholstery jobs will be the first of its kind in the state, and a similar program may be coming to teach automotive maintenance skills, said Rick Shew, the director of customized training and work-based learning for Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.


The programs for high school students are termed pre-apprenticeships and would take place in a training area at the college, but the college also is exploring partnerships with businesses to create actual apprenticeships with local employers for college students, Shew told the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission’s board of directors.


“We are looking at all our programs to find opportunities for youth apprenticeships,” he said.


The college’s electrical lineman program just received a level of approval to move toward an apprenticeship program, he said.


There is a need for training partnerships like this involving the Caldwell County Schools, the community college and local employers because of the low unemployment rate throughout the region, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the EDC. Having local students graduate high school already on the path to gaining highly sought job skills helps those employers keep growing.


Superintendent Don Phipps of the Caldwell County Schools said the school system is developing a program that could take groups of eighth-graders on tours of local industries and the community college so they can learn more about local job opportunities and related training geared to those jobs.


9/6/2018 – Caldwell EDC Trends and Updates Newsletter – September 2018

Posted on: September 6th, 2018 by admin


September 6, 2018


With a new school year beginning, the Caldwell EDC sponsored its first Fall Hired Education event that gave more than 70 Career and Technical Education instructors the opportunity to visit eight local companies. Meanwhile, Blue Ridge Energy broke ground for its new corporate headquarters in Lenoir, and Caldwell UNC Health Care had a groundbreaking ceremony for its new outpatient surgery facility in Granite Falls. With fall (hopefully) on the way, we look forward to bringing you more exciting announcements. As always, thanks to all of you for your support!


September 2018 Newsletter

9/5/2018 – CCC&TI taking part in program to train high school students for high-demand furniture jobs

Posted on: September 5th, 2018 by admin


September 5, 2018


By James Branch
(Lenoir) News-Topic


A new program will offer training for about a dozen high school students interested in two high-demand furniture-related professions.


Starting in early 2019, the program will give training for six high school seniors in industrial sewing, doing sewing for cushions, pillows and other upholstery, and eight in industrial upholstery, which attaches what the industrial sewer makes to the finished furniture. Both are jobs that businesses in Caldwell County are having trouble finding skilled labor for, said Randy Ledford, vice president of instruction at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.


The program will be offered through ApprenticeshipNC, a part of the North Carolina Community College System that has handled apprenticeship programs through CCC&TI in the past. But normal apprenticeships programs require the students involved to be at least 18 years old, which excludes some high school seniors, said Libby Huff, the Career and Technical Education director for the Caldwell County Schools.


This, instead, will be a pre-apprenticeship program.


“The pre-apprenticeship program opens up the apprenticeship program to high school seniors and gets them an early start,” she said.


The program will combine in-class instruction with hands-on experience in a setting that resembles a factory setting, offering high school seniors a chance to learn marketable skills before they graduate high school, she said.


Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, said she is excited about the new program.


“We have been talking about how to best prepare high school students for jobs in the community,” Murray said. “We think this will offer a good taste of what it will be like to work in these jobs.”


Huff and Ledford have worked closely with industries in the area to make sure the program teaches job skills that are in high demand. It will operate in the basement of the E.M. Dudley Job Training Center on CCC&TI’s campus in a space set up by a team made up of workers from local furniture factories, Ledford said.


Most instructors involved in the pre-apprenticeships have worked in the industries they are teaching, he said.


“They have the years of experience in the field to really help these students,” Ledford said.


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