Durham Tech receives $400,000 grant for Advanced Manufacturing program

The Golden LEAF Foundation recently awarded Durham Technical Community College $400,000 to expand the College’s Advanced Manufacturing career pathway.

The grant will build upon existing curriculum to develop a full Advanced Manufacturing pathway. This expansion will include industry-recognized credentials and allow students to earn both two- and four-year degrees. Students will be able to start with the Fundamentals of Manufacturing program, which will offer them the opportunity to earn six industry-recognized credentials within the FESTO 4.0 industry certifications.

“Local industry has indicated a high demand for workers with advanced manufacturing skills for existing and future good-paying jobs in a former tobacco manufacturing community,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. “Golden LEAF is pleased to support the expansion of the private sector by growing the talent, knowledge and skill of our workforce.”

The expansion of the Advanced Manufacturing pathway at Durham Tech will place workers on the path to training, learning, and earning the certifications they need to apply for open, regional job opportunities and, in turn, begin their career paths towards high-demand occupations in Durham and Orange counties.

It also leverages partnerships with several local agencies including: Merck, Bell and Howell, Purdue Pharma, AW, Biogen, KBI, and Morinaga America, Inc.

Program participants may enter one of six possible short-term credential courses. By following the pathway participants may gain certification and continue on to higher levels of education and training or exit into skilled, high-demand occupations in advance manufacturing.

“This grant will allow us to expand training and provide students a more comprehensive understanding of, and experience with, automated manufacturing processes and procedures,” said Dr. Peter Wooldridge, Vice President of Corporate and Continuing Education at Durham Tech. “This project will create a necessary and unique training center to meet regional employment needs while providing students with in-demand skills and education.”

The college applied through Golden LEAF’s Community-Based Grantsmaking Initiative, a regional competitive grant program that has now reached every region in the state.

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For almost 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantsmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact by helping create more than 63,000 jobs, incent half a billion dollars in new annual payroll and train or retrain 68,000 workers trained for higher wages. The Foundation has awarded 1,581 grants worth over $813 million since its inception.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit www.goldenleaf.org or call 888.684.8404.

For more information about Durham Technical Community College and the programs available, visit www.durhamtech.edu. The Durham Tech Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes the current and long-term success of Durham Tech by inspiring charitable investment in its students, faculty, and staff.