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Pathways to High-Tech Trades Careers


More than $2.2m has been invested into Sandhills Community College’s (SCC) high-tech trades program through generous partnerships with local manufactures like Unilever, Cody, Ingersoll Rand, and Eaton and through various grant opportunities from The Palmer Foundation, The Golden Leaf Foundation, Duke Energy and Victor Technologies.

Along with classes in electrical, welding and Certified Production Technician (CPT), Continuing Education has expanded offerings in the newly renovated Palmer Trades Center to include basic machining and industrial electrical and electronics. All programs provide an opportunity to achieve nationally recognized credentialing that can lead to well-paying employment opportunities.

SCC’s Trades Programs provide career training pathways for students looking for hands-on job skills training that can be completed in less time, and in most cases, less money than traditional undergraduate programs. Scholarships are also available for these programs.

Local employers have hired many SCC Trades program students immediately upon certification. “We have companies calling us seeking our students,” said Belinda McFerrin, Trades Programs coordinator. “It’s exciting to see them find such great jobs right out of the gate.”

Educational opportunities for trades careers extend beyond continuing education classes. Sandhills plans to introduce a new two-year associate degree program in Industrial Systems Technology. Credits earned in continuing education classes can be applied toward a degree. This provides students multiple entry points to earn credentials from high school, to college, to work and then back to school again. Many employers often pay for their employees to return to school for additional training.

“These exciting high-tech programs provide viable job opportunities for students through accelerated courses taught by experienced instructors on innovative equipment. Successful students secure desirable jobs from local manufactures,” said Andi Korte, SCC’s Vice President for Workforce Development and Continuing Education.

NCCER Welding Levels 1 and 2 begin August 15 and can be taken on Monday and Wednesday evenings or on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Saturday classes from 9 am-3 pm are also offered. These classes run through May 2017.

Certified Production Technician classes also begin mid-August and will run through February. They will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings with one Saturday class each month and will be taught at the Sandhills Hoke Center in Raeford.

The Basic Machining class will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 pm August 15-Feb 20.

The Industrial Electrical and Electronics class will be taught on Mondays and Wednesdays 6-9 pm August 15-March 1.

NCCER Electrical Levels 1 and 2 will be on Tuesday and Thursdays 6-9 pm from September 27-April 20.

The Basic Programmable Logic Controls class will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9 pm from August 16-December 15.


Seats are still available for these Trades classes. To register in person, stop by the Sandhills Community College Continuing Education office located on the first floor of Van Dusen Hall. You may also register by phone with a credit card at (910) 695-3980. Registration hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information visit or contact Belinda McFerrin at (910) 246-4117 or

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