North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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45 N O R T H C A R O L I N A E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T G U I D E development organization, "but you have the workforce and a community college in GTCC that's committed to continuing to provide the workforce for this industry." GTCC is able to do that by tailoring its lesson plans to what local aviation and aerospace companies need to grow their businesses. For instance, a few years ago, Landmark Aviation, which has a maintenance-support operation at PTI, began receiving contracts for avionics installations that diff ered from the kind GTCC performed in its classrooms. "So we went out and acquired the equipment, tooling and the requirements to incorporate that into our training," Yale says. "Now, our students can walk out of our program and not only say, 'I have an associate degree in avionics technology,' but they have also done three or four installs that the industry is doing. That makes a major diff erence for employers: Someone who's actually done it." GTCC also has established internships and part- time positions for its students with HAECO and Cessna. Although perhaps the most prominent, GTCC isn't the only school in the Triad catering to the aviation and aerospace businesses clustered in and around PTI. Greensboro is also home to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (housed inside the GTCC Aviation Center). Forsyth Technical Community College has proposed opening a $16 million aviation campus at nearby Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem to train technicians and mechanics. Even T. Wingate Andrews High School, about 13 miles south of PTI in High Point, off ers an aviation academy that, in partnership with GTCC, sets students on one of six diff erent career paths, from pilot to airframe and power-plant mechanic. Then again, some might say the Triad region has been training for aviation and aerospace jobs for decades. In nearby Wallburg, HAECO operates a facility that manufactures airplane seats. In High Point, the company will soon open an $11 million factory to make kitchens and bathrooms for planes. "If you consider the furniture industry, which has had its troubles in the region along with tobacco, and you look at the seats we make in Wallburg and the lavatories and galleys that are going to be made in the new High Point facility — I mean, this is furniture that we're building," HAECO's Kelly says. "That's the great thing about the Triad area — it's a great pool of employees from which we can select." • • • ou might think attending a convention in Farnborough, England — less than an hour by train from London — would be more vacation than The Triad is in TransformaTion and we have a sTory To Tell. successful Transition to advanced manufacturing rooted in innovation and entrepreneurship a Growing Technology Center of the southeast The Triad's aviation sector: ready for Take off 416 Gallimore Dairy Rd Greensboro, NC 27409 336.668.4556 Key strengths of the Triad The Piedmont Triad region is in central north Carolina around the cities of Greensboro, winston-salem and high Point Y

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