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COA Awarded $125,000 Golden LEAF Foundation Grant

Elizabeth City, North Carolina — Thanks to a Golden LEAF Foundation Grant, College of The Albemarle’s (COA) Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center will soon acquire new equipment for the Computer Integrated Machining program. A grant in the amount of $125,000 will help to fund the purchase of state-of-the-art machinery to help meet local job demands.

The Golden LEAF Foundation Grant application process began in June with the project entitled, “Training Tomorrow’s Machining Workforce Today.” The project outlined the need for new machining equipment to offer modernized training for our students and incumbent workers who need additional training through new continuing education courses.

Training on this equipment is required for machining contractors engaged by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition, Hockmeyer Equipment Corporation, with manufacturing headquarters in Elizabeth City, recently announced an expansion of 90 employees. Hockmeyer has communicated to COA both the need for incumbent worker training and the eligibility of new workers trained on this equipment to be hired directly into higher-level machinist positions at the company.

“Golden LEAF is pleased to support COA’s Computer Integrated Machining program,” said Golden LEAF Acting President Ted Lord. “Golden LEAF awards grants to build the skills of individuals to align with the current and future needs of NC businesses, especially in rural and tobacco-dependent areas. This project will help train new and incumbent workers for good-paying jobs with established area industry.”

Equipment to be purchased will include a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine with C-axis, Y-axis and live tooling options, and a Laser Scanner with additional part capacity, portability and complex dimensional analysis.

“We were thrilled to receive notification that the Golden LEAF Foundation would provide support for this project,” said Michelle Waters, Dean, Business, Industry and Applied Technologies; Campus Administrator, Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center. “The Computer Integrated Machining program has a strong history of delivering excellent training for our service area’s future workforce. Through the purchase of this new equipment, the program will continue to produce highly skilled students who then take their skills to our region’s manufacturing industry.”