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  • Writer's pictureTeam Reidsville

Machining Lab to Open at Local High School was a Team Effort

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

A new program will be available this year at Reidsville High School. Taught by Rockingham Community College instructors, the Machining Lab program will allow juniors and seniors to earn both high school and college credits as well as graduate with a certificate in hand.

The project was funded through a $200,000 Golden Leaf grant back in 2019 and then a number of community partners came together to make it all happen. Partners included:

  • Rockingham Community College

  • Rockingham County Schools

  • City of Reidsville

  • Reidsville Industrial Alliance (Members include Albaad, Dorada, Reidsville Precision Machine and Tri State Steel quotes below)

  • Reidsville Area Foundation

  • Rockingham County Education Foundation

When asked about the project and how it began, Jeff Garstka, Economic Development Director in Reidsville, explained that it was a big part of the City’s overall effort to attract and retain quality talent. “A big ‘thank you’ to all of the organizations who provided input and support for this effort. While Reidsville isn’t the only community to have a project like this in North Carolina, the Manual Machining Lab is very unique to Reidsville and will set our community apart from others. It fits well with what Rockingham Community College is doing with their newly constructed workforce training facility, set to open in a few years. The skills that high school students will attain are invaluable to our local industries. Several have indicated that the only skills they require for entry-level positions are manual machining which means the graduates will have an opportunity for employment immediately while others will pursue further education at RCC for higher level skills.”

As Jeff hinted, this is a big win for employers in the area as well. Reidsville is home to both local and global companies where skills like manual machining are in high demand. We spoke to several key employers in Reidsville and this is what they had to say about the program.

Ivi Williams, HR manager at Albaad USA commented, “ Albaad has been a big supporter of the Manual Machining Academy since the concept was brought to the table a few years ago. Our business requires a range of skill sets from highly technical to lower skilled. The Manual Machining Academy is a great asset for us because we can choose to hire students straight from high school with basic machining skills and train them up through the ranks as well as the ones who go further to pursue a higher level of education at Rockingham Community College in a more intense machining training curriculum.”

Dorada Foods-Reidsville is another local company that is excited about the lab. Here’s what Satrina Daniel, HR Manager shared with us about their support of the project, “The Manual Machining Lab is an important endeavor for Reidsville’s industries and Dorada Foods-Reidsville specifically. This unique program is another example of ways the public, private and education sectors have collaborated to ensure our future workforce needs are met with skilled individuals. We were pleased to have been a part of the initial planning and development of this project as an early supporter.”

Ken Heafner, Owner of Reidsville Precision Machine added, “Reidsville is fortunate to be able to offer this program at the high school, in collaboration with Rockingham Community College. While our local industries are constantly in need of advanced skills, many companies have positions that require basic machine skills. The basic skills learned in a manual machine shop program will benefit students and local industries; it will also assist students who wish to move on to programs in CNC machining, engineering, architecture and many other industries. We are thrilled that RHS is offering this program.”

It took a lot of planning, hard work and persistence to bring this program to fruition. This program is a testament to the passion and determination of Reidsville residents, businesses and city staff to provide pathways to success in their community.

Steve Scott, Owner of Tri-State Steel and previous Chair of Reidsville Industrial Alliance said it best, “A community that is growing MUST have proper infrastructure to support its growth, particularly when it comes to the manufacturing and distribution sectors of the economy. Much like an abundant water supply, quality sewer system, growing parks and trail systems, shovel ready industrial park land, the I-785 project, and the Love's Travel Center, the RHS Machining Lab is now a part of our city's strong and continued commitment to infrastructure growth and development. These are huge differentiators for a community like ours. Many other cities our size and even larger do not have this type of infrastructure. Manufacturing and distribution companies looking for a new community are looking for these types of differentiators. This is a great victory for our community and I am incredibly proud of the work that the Reidsville Industrial Alliance contributed to the success of this dream becoming a reality!

To find out more about the Machine Learning program at Reidsville High School, you can read the full article from Rockingham Community College here.

To learn more about how Reidsville can help your business relocate and grow, contact Jeff directly at 336.347.2307 (direct) /  336.880.5361 (mobile) or by email at: .

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