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Manufacturing Week - The Centralina WDB Way Stanly County Economic Development and Centralina WDB and Other Partners Build Manufacturing Awareness With The Next Generation of Workers

The Stanly County Economic Development Center (EDC) under the director of Paul Stratus hosted National Manufacturing Week on which started on September 29, 2015 with a tour at Powerstream and ended on October 2, 2015 at Norwood Manufacturing. Local eighth graders from Stanly County schools participated in informational tours.

“We're very thankful for the partnership with the Centralina Workforce Development Board, Stanly Community College, Stanly County Economic Development Commission and Stanly County Chamber of Commerce for providing students the opportunity to learn about local workforce needs in the manufacturing industry,” said Jency Speight, Middle School Director for Stanly County Schools.

The goal of Manufacturing Week was to educate local 8th graders about advanced manufacturing career opportunities within the county. The event was created to spark interests that would eventually inspire students throughout the remainder of their educational careers.

The participating 8th graders were students enrolled in their school’s STEM Lab (STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Most of the students are said to already perform well within advanced manufacturing. One of the major goals for this event was to introduce em to local manufacturers offering great career opportunities. 

The partners in the week-long event were Centralina Workforce Development Board, Stanly County Economic Development Commission Stanly Community College, and Stanly County Chamber of Commerce.

The tours included visits to the following local employers:

Powerstream on Tuesday September 29: North Stanly Middle School students

Norwood Manufacturing on Wednesday September 30: South Stanly Middle School students

Chicago Tube & Iron on Thursday October 1: Albemarle Middle School students

Norwood Manufacturing on Friday October 2: West Stanly Middle School students

“I personally loved the tours of both Powerstream Industries and the AMIT building at Stanly Community College.  I showed video clips of these types of facilities and careers to my students but the tour made it real for them,” said Corletta Barbee, STEM teacher from North Stanly Middle School. “They really loved seeing the machines at work while watching the workers perform their daily task.”

Students were asked what they liked best.  Overwhelming, the most common responses were the following:

"We were amazed watching the water jet machine at Powerstream.  It seemed impossible that water pressure could cut the medal.  The Atlanta Braves metal sign that was tooled was awesome!"

"The 3D printer at Stanly Community College was awesome to watch and we loved playing with the objects that it had made".

The students had a great time and seemed to enjoy the trip overall.

Centralina WDB Youth Specialist Solomon McAuley and Centralina WDB Communications Specialist Asia Wilson joined the tours on Thursday and Friday and had an opportunity to greet the middle schoolers. McAuley, encouraged the middle schoolers to maximize every opportunity they have to be explore potential careers. McAuley also reminded them that opportunities do not vanish, they just go to someone else who really wants it.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board are proud partners with the Stanly Economic Development Center, Stanly Chamber of Commerce, and Stanly Community College.  The Board and the NexGen Council are extremely pleased with the outcome of the week-long event.  For more information regarding the event, contact Solomon McAuley, Centralina WDB Youth Specialist at or (704) 348-2725. 


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