College expands skilled trade programs

First Posted: 7/10/2014

HAMLET — Richmond Community College plans to host summer information sessions highlighting skilled trade programs that the college offers.

Skilled trade jobs include welders, electricians, heating, air and refrigeration technicians and other technicians prevalent in manufacturing and construction.

The informal drop-in sessions, which are open to the public, are being held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Cole Auditorium on RCC’s main campus in Hamlet, followed by sessions from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg. Additional sessions will also be held in August at both sites.

According to human resource consulting firm Manpower Group, skilled trade workers have been the hardest segment of the work force to staff for the past three years, even surpassing the demand for registered nurses, engineers and website developers. Many students often find immediate employment with a good salary upon graduation from a trades training program.

“For many students, the traditional path to a successful career with a good salary has been via the route of a four-year college education, but there is an upsurge in demand for graduates who are skilled in a trades area,” said Robbie Taylor, RCC’s vice president of work force and economic development. “In response to this demand for highly skilled individuals, RCC has increased its trade specific programs.”

This fall, Richmond Community College will introduce two new trade programs through its work force and economic development division, each of which will lead to a certification from the National Center for Construction and Education Research. The two new programs are the NCCER electrical and NCCER plumbing Level 1 certifications.

The NCCER is a national credentialing agency that has standardized curriculum and training for a wide array of trades.

“The credential earned at the end of the training is recognized in all 50 states, making it portable and allowing students who complete the program to work anywhere. In addition, the credential is becoming more important for contractors who hire workers,” Taylor said.

Richmond Community College has also expanded its air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology program to include evening courses. The NCCER programs will also offer evening courses, allowing individuals to continue to work during the day while they seek training and certifications during the evenings.

For more information on the HVAC program, contact Bill Frye at 910-410-1938 or For information on either of the NCCER programs, contact Lauren Holland at 910-410-1848 or