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CCCC shares help for businesses

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Click to enlarge,  Panelists from Central Carolina Community College spoke to business leaders at Sanford Area Growth Alliance's montly public policy luncheon Monday about ways business owners can partner with CCCC for workforce development. Seated left to right are Terri Brown, lead small business coordinator; Steven Ogle, director of manufacturing and trades; Cathy Swindell, director of industry services; Mike Peluso, business coordinator; and Crystal McIver, Human Resources Plus director.

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Panelists from Central Carolina Community College spoke to business leaders at Sanford Area Growth ... (more)

11.06.2015College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College has flexibility, options and often funding for training programs aimed at connecting local employers and employees, and panelists from the college spoke to area business owners Monday to spread the word. At the monthly Sanford Area Growth Alliance Public Policy Luncheon at The Flame Steakhouse, CCCC's Vice President of Economic and Community Development Pamela Senegal moderated a panel aimed at sharing with the audience of approximately 65 how local small businesses can partner with the college in a variety of ways to help in finding reliable, long-term employees.

"We have 17 locations in three counties," she said. "We have over 100 degrees, certificates and diplomas. But what everyone doesn't know we have are these great resources for workforce development."

Crystal McIver, Human Resources Plus director, said that her job is to help employees get the soft skills they need, including learning interview techniques, writing resumes, being punctual and other competencies that prospective employees may not do well.

"These are skills that we're expecting from workers," she said. "If they've not been taught, they don't necessarily know them. Our goal in HRD [Human Resources Development] is to empower the individual with some of the skills they're missing."

When it comes to hard skills needed to land jobs, Cathy Swindell, director of industry services, helps business owners and managers set up training programs. "We're still getting the word out that there is an Innovation Center," she said. "We can do pre-employment training so that potential employees do the training, and employers get to pick the cream of the crop."

The Innovation Center, located at 5825 Clyde Rhyne Drive in Sanford, is a state-of-the-art facility designed primarily for short-term, specific job skills training. The Center includes simulators for learning jobs, such as welding, as well as classroom space for hands-on skill-building.

"It's so flexible," said Steven Ogle, director of manufacturing and trades. "If you have a training need, there's a way to make it work."

Mike Peluso, business coordinator for the Triangle South Workforce Development Board, can help employers find the right options and employees to help them with skills gaps they may see among the workforce. One of his roles is to help administer the NCWorks Incumbent Worker Grant, which can help employers who want to train a handful of employees on new equipment or in a new skill area.

CCCC's business offerings are not just for finding employees, however. Terri Brown is the small business coordinator for Lee County, and she and her staff work to provide training and information to business owners.

"It's not just the start-ups needing help with things like business plans and accounting," she said. "We also help veteran business owners who need to learn special skills. Marketing right now is the business problem. We help with social media, websites, marketing funnels, email marketing and other areas to help business owners modernize their marketing."

By Brandi Brown | The Sanford Herald