HAMLET — Five students in the Information Technology program at Richmond Community College helped FerroFab upgrade its IT systems, providing the company with technical support that would have cost between $4,500 and $5,000.
RichmondCC and FerroFab have had a great working relationship over many years, collaborating on safety training programs through the college’s Workforce & Economic Development division. FerroFab, which provides steel related fabrication work for industries, has also hired RichmondCC welding graduates and sent some of its employees through the welding program for training.
This time, FerroFab contacted RichmondCC for assistance in its IT department. FerroFab enlisted college students to help with restructuring the company’s network room, upgrading computers, video equipment, printers, scanners and more.
“We have had a few projects that needed completing, so we worked with Lee Eller (director of customized training), Jeff Epps (network systems engineer) and Dennis Gordon (IT instructor) from the college to get us started,” FerroFab Plant Manager Dominick Aquino said. “We are currently working with staff and students on standard operating procedures for each piece of equipment within FerroFab, Inc., safety programs and procedures and other types of necessary and required documents for the company.”
The first job the students tackled for FerroFab was completed in 30 days back in November. RichmondCC IT students Taylor Smith, Himansu Patel and Edward Hartley assisted in the rebuild and reconfiguration of the FerroFab’s server room.
In February, IT students Lindell Bright and Kevin Taylor completed the second job at FerroFab in just one day. They had to set up and configure the administrator’s new computer by transferring files and programs from the older systems.
“These kinds of changes to a company are very beneficial and can also be very helpful to students entering the workplace,” Aquino said. “When a company introduces these manufacturing improvements, it is a perfect time for students to get involved. Students learn from scratch as these new programs are rolled out.”
Gordon said he was glad they could help the company because it gave his students real-world, hands-on experience.
“I’m very proud of the work these students did and the professional manner in which they conducted the work. This will look good on their resumes and give them an edge in job interviews,” Gordon said. “The more we can expose our students to a real working environment, the better prepared they will be for a career in information technology.”