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CFCC’s manufacturing program to address need for skilled laborers for local manufacturing companies

Some jobs are fading out as technology can now easily replace them, but for many manufacturing companies, that’s not the case.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 6:35 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Some jobs are fading out as technology can now easily replace them, but for many manufacturing companies, that’s not the case.

Mojotone makes parts for guitars and amplifiers. The company moved to Burgaw from Winston-Salem in 2005 with just 12 employees. Since then, they’ve grown to nearly 80 employees.

“We’re already there thinking about adding on to this building and hiring even more people,” Michael McWhorter, CEO and President of Mojotone said. “We have a woodshop, we do upholstery where we cover guitar amps with vinyl, we have electronic manufacturing, where we actually assemble guitar amps and guitar pickups, a lot of electronics positions, we have warehouse and distribution staff, we’ve got accounting, we have all of our graphic design and marketing, and then we have a sales team as well.”

McWhorter says the company is now looking for more skilled laborers for these hands-on positions. Mojotone has consistently added about 10 employees each year for the past few years.

“In the next eight to twelve months, we’ll be hiring at least five to 10 more people.”

With the help of the Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership, Cape Fear Community College will soon train students through their new manufacturing program.

The courses are 10-12 weeks long and will include things like forklift training, safety standards and protocols, and small machinery training.

“They’re short term training [courses]. And that’s what they need too, we need short term training to get people skilled up quickly, and get them into the workforce because there’s such a demand for for labor right now,” CFCC president Jim Morton said.

In return, at least a handful of local manufacturers in need have promised to consider each student in the program for a job once they complete the necessary courses.

“It just shows you the need that we’re responding to in the area. I think the need is going to continue to increase and we’re here to respond to it. It was very exciting to build, listen, and respond. But the good news is, manufacturers are coming to us now and asking us and we’re here to fill those needs,” Morton said. “That’s what we love to do here most is training and educating but facilitating employment and [getting] them jobs.”

McWhorter says he is looking forward to having a group of candidates that come in with skills that companies are used to teaching throughout the first year of employment.

“It’ll be a great opportunity for students, but it’s also a great opportunity for the employers to get potential candidates coming through the door that already have that foundation knowledge that that we need.”

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