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Catawba Valley Community College recently held its first "Explore Your Future: NC Manufacturing Day" experience to showcase advanced manufacturing careers to local high school students.

The day-long event was designed to introduce students to high-tech manufacturing careers that have long-term career prospects.  Participants learned about the education and training required beyond high school for jobs that are in demand in the Catawba Valley.

Held at CVCC's Corporate Development Center, the college hosted 48 students from six different high schools, including Alexander Central, Bandys, Hickory High, Hickory Career & Arts Magnet, Maiden and Newton-Conover.  They experienced a day of hands-on activities and one-on-one conversations with local advanced manufacturers.

Attendees learned more about working conditions, prospects for advancement and employment benefits with the participating employers.

Attendees visited the NC Center for Engineering Technology and competed in a robotics challenge sponsored by Appalachian State University.

Student teams created their own robot and computer program based on set criteria within an hour and a half. Even students without any sort of robotics training successfully built a robot and programmed it well enough to run.  Bandys High School's team won the robotics challenge; each member received a first-place medal with "Explore Your Future" engraved on it.

The event was coordinated by CVCC staff members Crystal Glenn, executive director of CVCC's Workforce Development Innovation Center, and Kristin Wright, customized training coordinator.

For more information about career training in advanced manufacturing available at CVCC, contact Wright at 828-327-700, ext. 4297, or email


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