CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) has unveiled its $25.5 million new Advanced Technology Center, which will train students for Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, and other STEM careers.
Educators believe classes provided in the new center will help meet the demand to fill hi-tech jobs.
"Every week we have companies looking for machinist or engineers or automation technicians," CPCC Dean of STEM said. "We love that."
So far, about 700 students have registered to be part of the hi-tech curriculum. The center includes Mechatronics and Automation Labs, Virtual Reality Labs, Engineering FabLab, Biomedical Equipment Technology Labs, and other equipment.
There is about $4.5 million worth of equipment in the center. Crews had to start moving the equipment in the center in May because there was so much. The equipment will prepare the students for their future jobs.
"This is exactly what students are going to find when they go out into the workforces," Paynter said. "Whether it's a manufacturing facility or an energy facility."
Educators believe the education and training provided at the center could help with the economic mobility. Charlotte ranks 50 out of 50 when it comes to escaping poverty.
"They got a ton of options available for them," Paynter said. "We got programs that start at any different range of skill - really want to get them in as quickly as possible into these middle STEM jobs with great wages."
It is estimated there are about 23,000 hi-tech jobs are available in North Carolina. Former CPCC student Nick Nalley wanted to take advantage of those openings. He majored in Information Technology and left with other skills.
"It really just opened up," CPCC Former Student Nick Nalley said. "I saw exactly what type of opportunities were out there as far as where I can go for future careers."
Nalley now works at the college. He believes the center will make the difference for people trying to make enough to make ends meet and trying to get out of poverty. He says what students will learn will create advancement for them.
"If I want to say go into biomedical or anything like that," Nalley said. "The opportunities are there."
Educators say starting salary for these hi-tech jobs is just under $40,000 and depending on experience and location the salary could go up to the six figures.
CPCC classes start Wednesday and it's not too late to register. For more information including financial assistance call 704-330-2722 or visit www.cpcc.edu.