Archive for July, 2014

CFCC to offer certification tests for healthcare interpreters 

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

​Cape Fear Community College​ has been ​officially certified to administer the Commission Certification Healthcare Interpreters oral exam.

​According to CFCC’s lead instructor for the Spanish Community Interpreting Program Patricia Armiñana, being able to offer this exam​ provides a much more convenient option for local residents​ interested in becoming certified to work as an interpreter in the healthcare industry.

​”In the past, our students in the Community Spanish Interpreter Program and other members in the community had to travel over hundred miles to take the certification exam. Now the college ​will be able to provide this service to all interested ​residents in the eastern part of​ the state,” Armiñana said.​

She added that the importance of being certified is to ensure that the interpreter has some approved credentials by a professional organization.

“Most of hospitals in the area will not hire an interpreter who is not certified,” Armiñana said

The exam will now be offered at CFCC’s North Campus in Castle Hayne. ​Other testing sites in North Carolina include Cary, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh.

​For more information about becoming an Spanish interpreter or taking the certification exam, please contact or visit

Changes in manufacturing technology creates need for CFCC’s new mechatronics program

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014


Contrary to some media reports, manufacturing is far from dead. While it’s true that old-fashioned assembly line jobs are dwindling, a new kind of manufacturing industry has emerged and is starved for workers with new skills in mechatronics.

While it may conjure up images of futuristic robots, mechatronics is a term used to describe a specific set of skills that are growing in demand within a variety of industries. This demand has prompted leaders at Cape Fear Community College to offer a new program in mechatronics which starts next month.

Originally, the word mechatronics combined mechanics and electronics, hence the word is a combination of mechanics and electronics; however, as technical systems have become more and more complex, the word has been broadened to include more technical areas. Modern industrial facilities rely on these automated, mechatronics systems in order to be competitive in the global economy.

CFCC is looking to capitalize on this trend by training students to design, develop and maintain these highly complex, automated processing systems.

Students in CFCC’s two-year mechatronics program will learn a diverse set of applications in the areas of design, development, assembly, troubleshooting and repair of automated systems that use electromechanical and servo-mechanical devices, including computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools, linear transfer systems and a variety of automated systems.

Randy Johnson, Department Chair of Engineering Technology at Cape Fear Community College, has heard the requests from employers throughout the area and knows that high-tech manufacturing jobs are available to people with the right skills.

“I get calls on a regular basis from employers looking for qualified job applicants.  Cape Fear Community College actively listens to our area employers, and we’ve created this program to meet their needs and enable our graduates to find good jobs locally,” Johnson said.

Johnson explained that there are many local companies that need graduates with the skill set provided by the Mechatronics curriculum, including GE Aviation, GE-Hitachi, Wilmington Machinery and The Acme Smoked Fish Company.

Student applications for the program are being accepted now. Classes begin on August 15 and will be held in the Applied Technologies Building at CFCC’s North Campus in Castle Hayne.

The training gap in manufacturing appears to be a national trend. Due to advances in computer-controlled equipment and processes, over 60 percent of manufacturing employees need at least some college education, according to a U.S Department of Commerce report. And the 2011 Skills Gap Report from the Manufacturing Institute estimated that as many as 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs were unfilled because employers simply couldn’t find qualified workers.

For more information about CFCC’s Mechatronics program, contact Randy Johnson at (910) 362-7376 or

CFCC to start new cardiovascular sonography program

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

cardiac ultrasound examination testing on young man

Cape Fear Community College has just been approved to offer a new health care training program starting this fall. This one-year program is called cardiovascular sonography and will prepare students to become certified in echocardiography.

The program is expected to be a good fit for local health care employers and students and will add to the growing list of job training programs offered at the college. According to CFCC’s lead sonography instructor Kellee Stacks, the college chose to develop the program based on input from various health care providers in our region and employment data from national sources.

Stacks said that the need for more qualified echocardiographers is being driven in a major way by the growth of the aging population, which typically requires increased medical services of all types.

She added that the program will allow graduates of the college’s existing general sonography program to specialize in echocardiography, which will help them become more marketable to employers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in sonography are among the fastest growing jobs, with a projected 39% increase between 2012 and 2022.

An echocardiographer is a trained technologist who employs sonogram technology to provide diagnostic imaging of the heart. Using waves of sound via a transducer. Technologists gather information about the heart’s structure, function, pressures and rhythm. Work involves close contact with cardiologists or echocardiologists, who view initial findings of the echocardiographer and diagnose or suggest treatment to patients afterwards.

The deadline to apply for the program is July 28. Classes start on August 15.

Classes will be held at CFCC’s downtown Wilmington Campus in the Union Station building. Please visit for additional details. Contact Pam Aubry at 910-362-7558 or Kellee Stacks at or 910-362-7482.


CFCC Foundation breaks annual fundraising record with over $2 million in gifts

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

This year has been a record-breaking year for the CFCC Foundation, a non-profit organization which raises money to support students. For the first time in college history, the foundation raised over $2 million in private contributions, many of which will support student scholarships.

CFCC Foundation Board Chairperson Sara Strassle, who led the group last year, credits this accomplishment to the ongoing generosity of the local community and the hard work of the college’s Foundation board and staff.

“Reaching this $2 million dollar milestone for student scholarships and programs certainly recognizes the hard work of the College’s Foundation. Even more important, such a milestone illustrates the remarkable goodwill of our community—the neighborhoods and businesses who support our mission. Our students benefit most from these dollars, and they then contribute to the economic and social health of our region,” Strassle said.

Jan Rowe Capps was recently elected as chair of the Foundation board for 2014-2015. Strassle said that she looks forward to a continued pattern of success under the new leadership.

“Jan understands the positive cycle of community support as well as anyone I know. With her leadership, our Foundation Board will continue to develop goodwill and generosity for the benefit of CFCC’s students,” Strassle said.

CFCC President Ted Spring praised the Foundation Board for their efforts to ensure as many people as possible can afford to attend CFCC.  He added that despite CFCC’s relatively low tuition, CFCC students depend on extra financial help to get their education.

“Many of our students have family and financial obligations outside of the cost of going to school, so private support is absolutely essential,” Dr. Spring said.

The CFCC Foundation sponsors a wide variety of events and activities throughout the year to raise funds for students. The fall campaign kicks off with the employee-led Campus Fund Drive, which raises an average of over $80,000 from CFCC employees each year.  Other major fundraising events include a tennis and golf tournament, the NewBridge Bank Bridge to Bridge 4.0 Race and the annual Gift of Education luncheon.

The organization is led by a volunteer board of directors with support from college staff. For more information about CFCC’s Foundation, call (910) 362-7207.