CFCC’s manufacturing program to meet the need for skilled labor for local manufacturing companies

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Some jobs are disappearing because technology can now easily replace them, but for many manufacturing companies that is not the case.

Mojotone manufactures parts for guitars and amplifiers. The company moved to Burlaw from Winston-Salem in 2005 with just 12 employees. They have since grown to nearly 80 employees.

“We are already thinking about adding to this building and hiring even more people,” said Michael McWhorter, CEO and President of Mojotone. “We have a carpentry shop, we do upholstery where we cover guitar amps with vinyl, we have electronic manufacturing, where we actually assemble guitar amps and guitar pickups, a lot of positions in electronics, we have warehouse and distribution staff, we have accounting, we have all of our graphic design and marketing, and then we also have a sales team. »

McWhorter says the company is now looking for more skilled workers for these hands-on positions. Mojotone has steadily added about 10 employees each year for the past few years.

“In the next eight to twelve months, we will hire at least five to ten additional people.”

With help from the Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership, Cape Fear Community College will soon be training students in its new manufacturing program.

Courses last 10-12 weeks and will include things like forklift training, safety standards and protocols, and small machinery training.

“These are short-term courses [courses]. And that’s what they need too, we need short-term training to allow people to quickly qualify and get them into the job market because there’s such a demand for labor right now,” CFCC President Jim Morton said.

In return, at least a handful of local manufacturers in need have promised to consider each student in the program for employment once they complete the necessary courses.

“It just shows you the need we are meeting in the region. I think the need will continue to grow and we are here to meet it. It was very exciting to build, to listen and to respond. But the good news is manufacturers are coming to us now and asking us and we’re here to meet those needs,” Morton said. “That’s what we like to do the most here, which is to train and educate, but to facilitate employment and [getting] these jobs.

McWhorter says he’s looking forward to having a pool of candidates come in with skills that companies are used to teaching throughout the first year of employment.

“It will be a great opportunity for students, but it’s also a great opportunity for employers to bring in potential candidates who already have the basic knowledge we need.

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