North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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50 North Carolina Economic Development Guide W hen Wichita, Kan.-based Spirit Aerosytems Inc. landed at Global TransPark in Kinston about fi ve years ago, it had runway, rail and deep- water port access, which let it ship the airliner parts it builds to its customers, including France- based Airbus SAS. What it needed at the industrial park was a workforce trained in composites, modern materials that are stronger and lighter than traditional aircraft materials. It didn't have to wait long. Enter Kinston-based Lenoir Community College's Spirit Aerosystems Center of Excellence, one of several workforce- training centers statewide that specialize in a sector. Instructors use its 3,000-square-feet composites lab to train workers for Spirit's high-tech factory fl oor. It's an example of the customized training that the N.C. Community College Systems' NCWorks program can create for companies. "When a new company is looking to locate, or an existing one is looking to grow, we're able to support that training with no cost to the companies," says Maureen Little, associate vice president for customized training. "The customized training program is focused on the bottom line of the company. But the bottom line of the company is based on the success of the employees." The community-college system's 58 campuses coordinate and deliver custom instruction of all stripes. Whether it's safety, forklift operation or training for company-specifi c Capstone Center hosts open courses for students and workforce-development classes that are customized for companies.

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