SCC and Pittsburgh Glass Works provides ‘Best Practice’ partnership

October 21, 2013

DOBSON — The NC Community College System recently highlighted Surry Community College’s Customized Training Program and particularly the college’s relationship with Pittsburgh Glass Works as a best practice. SCC has 11 projects with companies in Surry and Yadkin counties, and nine projects are planned for the future.

Maureen Little, associate vice president of Customized Training with the NC Community College System, held a strategic planning meeting at The Elkin Center in August, which included 14 regional directors and trainers. Little visited Pittsburgh Glass Works in February and saw the transformation of the operation and its partnership with the college.

“The intent of the Customized Training Program is to demonstrate the added value from local community colleges, and Surry Community College demonstrates that added value very well. Surry is definitely reaching out to industry, which is evident by the number of current projects and future projects in the pipeline,” Little said.

The North Carolina Community College System offers a Customized Training Program consisting of education, training and support services for new, expanding and existing business and industry in the state through the 58 community colleges. In 2008, the system received legislative approval to not only provide assistance to companies that were creating jobs but to support those eligible companies that were investing in new machinery and equipment, as well as to support the productivity enhancement of the incumbent workforce, according to Little.

“Certainly, the relationship between SCC and Pittsburgh Glass Works is truly a success story, and I wanted all my team members to see and understand that relationship as a best practice, which is why I selected The Elkin Center as the location for our annual meeting,” Little said. “Surry Community College is dedicated to providing facilities, staff and instructional resources to assist Pittsburgh Glass Works throughout the recruitment, screening, assessment and training process.”

SCC’s partnership with Pittsburgh Glass Works was featured as a part of the statewide meeting with a tour of the company and a report from Bryan Shaw, who is the Human Resources Manager at Pittsburgh Glass Works. SCC President Dr. David Shockley, SCC Director of Customized Industry Training Services Sam Brim and Don Huneycutt, regional director of Customized Training Director for the NC Community College System, also gave presentations.

“Pittsburgh Glass Works is delighted with SCC and excited about developing further opportunities that benefit both organizations,” said Bryan Shaw, human resources manager at Pittsburgh Glass Works. “Working with SCC has validated PGW’s decision to open the plant in Surry County, and we are thrilled that SCC was recognized for their part in helping us launch our operations in North Carolina.”

Along with Pittsburgh Glass Works, SCC is partnering with Advanced Electronic Services, Ottenweller Company Inc., Leonard USA and Nester Hosiery in Mount Airy; Austin Electrical Enclosures in Yadkinville; Designed Textile Solutions/BSP in East Bend; Lydall Inc. in Hamptonville; MVP Group International in Elkin; Parkdale in Boonville; and Phillips-Van Heusen in Jonesville.

The goals of SCC’s Customized Industry Training Program are to develop long-term strategic partnerships with business/industry leaders, to assist small business startups and expansions and to place Surry students into local jobs.

“We will continue to build strong partnerships with business and industry throughout Surry and Yadkin counties. We want business and industry to reach out to Surry Community College as a first option for training and development resources. We also want companies to lean on Surry Community College for job applicants,” Brim said. “We are here to help businesses with their training and development programs along with their resource management efforts. We hope to increase our student enrollment and help these students be more marketable and promotable. By focusing on our customers — business/industry leaders and the students — we are able to deliver results to get more industries to relocate and expand here because we have a skilled workforce for them. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

SCC offers support to companies from student-led projects or internships. A project or internship can vary from three weeks to three months. The projects/internships can include various departments in a company including: human resources, manufacturing, maintenance, accounting, graphic design, marketing or any other areas where a company needs support. A recent example is a human resources based project where students updated a company’s job descriptions. Students also completed a lockout/tagout program for another local company.

“These are excellent opportunities for students because they can get experience for their resumes or can get hired directly by the company if they perform well,” Brim said.

SCC offers support with comprehensive training plans, contingent office/meeting space, record keeping for training, advisory programs, and business support programs. Brim said employment law sessions are being planned in the future to assist local companies.

For more information about SCC’s Customized Training Program, contact Sam Brim at 386-3684 or brims@surry.edu.