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Inaugural Industry-Focused Class Graduates


“The more closely training is related to a real job or occupation, the better the results for training participants,” according to report, “What Works in Job Training: A Synthesis of the Evidence,” released by the US Department of Labor, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services. This report continues, “There is also evidence that firms investing in education and training realize significant and positive returns to shareholders, suggesting the importance of training to successful businesses.”

The Mechanical Power Transmissions Fundamentals is a course designed with this intent. This inaugural class, taught at the Sandhills Hoke Center in Raeford, is an open enrollment class developed to meet the industry’s specific need but with a uniform curriculum which can be adapted industrywide.

Ronnie Patton, director of Trades and Business Support Programs at Sandhills Community College and instructor of the course, has over forty-one years of manufacturing experience in the field. Patton, in collaboration with Unilever and other industry experts, developed this course with the intention of improving the entry-level employee’s knowledge level, thus, requiring minimal job shadow training from the employer. “We want our students to be equipped with the knowledge they need to begin work immediately,” says Patton. “The course provides three basic elements which include theoretical training, hands-on demonstration and troubleshooting.”

“Unilever’s Training Supervisor, John Miller, made the request for this focused training as an effort to ensure long-term success of the Raeford Unilever plant and to increase wages for those it employs. This is exactly the type of request we need from our service area to meet the growing demand to educate a qualified and job-ready work force,” said Andi Korte, Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. “We used their specific need as a model to design an industry compatible curriculum. We thank Unilever for working with us to develop this opportunity.”

This first graduating class for Mechanical Power Transmissions Fundamentals will be held on October 28 at 3 pm at the Sandhills Hoke Center located at 1110 E. Central Avenue in Raeford. “We congratulate these students on this wonderful accomplishment,” said Korte.

Class completers are: Cameesha Bratcher, James Chavis, Thomas Christian, Bruce Cobb, Mark Cummings, Stanley Davis, Wilhelmena Ellerbe, Brenda Graham, Darrick Hammonds, Matthew Klinger, Dalvin Lewis, Mitchell Lockey, Anthony Swett, Curtis Thomas and Chad Walters.

For more information on upcoming classes or to discuss specific business needs, contact Ronnie Patton, or (910) 695-3925.

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