College’s Customized Industry Training Benefits Industry

Surry County industry representatives were featured panelists during the “Make it Matter” Customized Training Annual Conference held Dec. 3-5, in Asheville, which was organized the by N.C. Community College System. Pictured left to right: Brian Johnson, President, Johnson Granite, Inc.; Christi Smiley, Recruiting and Employee Development Manager, Insteel Industries, Inc.; Nester Hosiery; and Jeff Noethlich, Plant Supervisor; Cardinal Glass Corp.; Frankie Vernon, Safety & Human Resources Manager; and Sam Brim, Director of Customized Industry Training for Surry Community College.

Surry Community College’s efforts in Customized Industry Training were highlighted at the “Make it Matter” Customized Training Annual Conference, an event organized the by N.C. Community College System, held in Asheville during December.

Four representatives from Surry County companies were featured panelists in a session called, “Reducing Costs, Increasing Productivity, Improving the Bottom Line.”

The business representatives included: Frankie Vernon, Safety & Human Resources Manager, Nester Hosiery; Brian Johnson, President, Johnson Granite, Inc.; Christi Smiley, Recruiting and Employee Development Manager, Insteel Industries, Inc.; and Jeff Noethlich, Plant Supervisor; Cardinal Glass Corp.

SCC has assisted Johnson Granite, Inc.; Insteel Industries, Inc.; Cardinal Glass Corp.; and Nester Hosiery with training in leadership, compliance, continuous improvement practices, technical systems, and safety.

“Employee development is a key piece of Insteel Industries’ recruiting and retention efforts. The customized training opportunities we are able to coordinate through Surry Community College are perfectly aligned to advance Insteel’s performance and succession development process,” said Smiley.  “SCC’s Director of Business and Industry Services, Sam Brim, and Business and Industry Specialist, Hope Trumpie, spent time getting to know our company, culture and needs. This allowed them to select instructors who connect with our workforce effectively and have professional backgrounds in industry, not academia. This close partnership between SCC and Insteel has been fundamental in utilizing our project dollars to the fullest.”

The conference session addressed how customized training matters and is a proven method of effectiveness that helps companies – increase retention rates in a booming economy; implement new product lines that improve productivity, reduce the number of reportable accidents; and enhances employee skills resulting in promotions.

Surry Community College is annually rated in the top five community colleges in North Carolina for the number of training projects that assist new and existing industries.

The business representatives explained how utilizing Customized Industry Training from Surry Community College was a catalyst for achieving their business success in the panel discussion led by Sam Brim, Director of Customized Industry Training for SCC.

“Our relationship with Surry Community College has been an invaluable asset to Nester Hosiery,” Vernon said. “Through the Customized Training program, we have been able to continue education of our employees and staff while also lowering our cost and running more efficiently.”

Each business representative shared information about their company’s products and services and then detailed their collaboration with Surry Community College and how it had made a difference in their company’s performance.

“This was the first time at this conference that a community college brought in a panel of business and industry representatives to talk about the relationships and partnerships between the businesses and the community college,” said Brim. “All the representatives were able to share their experiences working with Surry Community College.”

The conference attendance was made up of customized industry directors from 58 community colleges across the state.

“Surry Community College offers programs and training services to assist new and existing businesses and industries to help with productivity and profitability. SCC can bring employee training directly to you at your facilities, designed to accommodate your specific business needs. SCC help businesses with their culture, cashflow and compliance through our Customized Industry Training programs,” said Brim.

Another part of the conference also included a “Presidents Panel Discussion” that included Dr. David Shockley of Surry Community College along with Dr. Michael Helmick, Western Piedmont Community College; Dr. Dennis King, Asheville-Buncombe Technical College; Dr. Laura Leatherwood, Blue Ridge Community College; Dr. Mark Poarch, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.

“We are proud to say for the last two years, Surry Community College has been ranked No. 1 in the number of customized industry training projects, competing against metropolitan community colleges in Raleigh and Charlotte,” said Shockley. “That speaks volumes about how hard working our staff is in reaching out to business and industry in Surry and Yadkin counties and providing training solutions and assistance in our rural service area.”

To learn more contact about Customized Industry Training through Surry Community College, contact Sam Brim at (336) 386-3684 or





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