Local businesses turn to CFCC for customized training

While Cape Fear Community College is widely known throughout the region for providing job training and higher education for individuals, more and more companies are discovering that CFCC also offers specialized training for business and industry.

What makes CFCC’s Customized Training Program so attractive is that the courses are designed to meet the specific needs of individual businesses and are provided free of charge.

Over the past year, area businesses of all sizes have taken advantage of the program – including Fenner Drives, a design and manufacturing firm in Wilmington.

According to Jason Kinney, manufacturing manager at Fenner Drives, the company initially wanted to pursue a few classes in machining, but they soon learned that the college could offer much more.Over the last year, 44 Fenner Drives employees took 22 different classes through CFCC, including quality improvement Six Sigma Greenbelt certification, efficiency, safety and hands-on training on specific equipment.

Kinney said that the training provided his employees with the tools they needed to initiate cost savings and become more efficient.

“We sought the training to allow growth of our associates across all levels as well as to give us the knowledge to exceed above our previous knowledge ceiling. There was a strong push amongst those within this facility to improve and we felt the first step necessary to achieve our goals was to pursue continued education from CFCC. The training offered by CFCC has allowed us to offer classes to numerous associates across all facets of our business,” Kinney said.

Before the classes began, Kinney and his associates worked with the college to develop a plan to meet their goals based on the offerings of the college, what the expectations were for employees, and Fenner’s organizational objectives for the future.

By having classes on site, the training was designed so that employees could practice new procedures on the actual equipment they use at the plant. CFCC integrated the course instruction with real-life problems, which made the course informative and practical.

“The CFCC trainers not only provided the technical training, but took the time to understand our processes, so they could fully maximize the impact of our training,” said Matthew Neal, Fenner Drives Business Process and System Analyst.

“If you combine fantastic instructors with real world experience and a talented team, it creates a great opportunity for success,” Neal said.

He added that the results of the training were almost immediately evident.

“We were able to implement the training as soon as we got it,” Neal said.

Kinney said that when the Wilmington plant was recently visited by executives from Fenner’s parent plant in Pennsylvania, the visitors and senior management remarked at how efficient the operation had become over the last year.

“These courses have also shown tremendous payback through renewed vigor to improve and a noticeable excitement across the facility,” Kinney said.
“We were a successful group prior to beginning the training but were essentially at our limits as far as ability. The training has allowed us to pursue different objectives and goals in order to continue both personal as well as professional growth,” Kinney stated.

CFCC’s director of corporate and continuing education Diane Badakhsh said that the strength of the program is its flexibility and quality of instructors, who are experienced in the fields they teach.

“Our biggest strength is being able to respond immediately to the needs of local businesses to provide training and assistance,” Badakhsh said.

Over the past year, other companies that have used CFCC’s customized training services include Cincinnati Thermal Spray, Mundy Corp, AAI Pharma, American Skin, Cardinal Metalworks, Corning, IKA Works, Invista, Key West Casual Furniture and WR Rayson.

For more information about CFCC’s customized training program, call (910) 362-7254.