South Piedmont partners with Columbus McKinnon

South Piedmont Community College is forming partnerships address skilled labor shortages in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of South Piedmont 

MONROE – South Piedmont Community College has partnered with Columbus McKinnon in Wadesboro to recruit 20 machining apprentices who will be full-time employees earning $17 an hour while they are being trained.

South Piedmont is taking an employer-led approach to build talent pipelines aligned to business and industry needs by working with over 300 different companies across many industries including aerospace, advanced manufacturing and heavy equipment.

The college's newest partner, Columbus McKinnon, machines and assembles industrial cranes for a variety of top brands.

“We are fortunate to have a partnership with great trainers and educators from South Piedmont,” said Madeline Mullins, HR talent advisor at Columbus McKinnon. “South Piedmont’s training facility is world class. The apprenticeship model developed to help with our talent challenges is absolutely phenomenal and will produce some of the best, well-educated machinists who will help us sustain and grow our operations in the future.”

Half of North Carolina’s employers need more skilled employees, 67% of jobs will require high-quality credentials/postsecondary degrees by 2030 and 49% of 25-49-year-olds have completed the necessary education.

“We see SPCC as the main talent supply channel for our businesses,” said Karla Shields, associate vice president of economic and workforce development at South Piedmont. “This is a great opportunity for students to be full-time employees with benefits while they are learning at South Piedmont.”

The year-long apprenticeship will begin Jan. 4. The first eight-week bootcamp will start Jan. 10. Information sessions are underway and offered through December. Visit to register for an information session.

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