If you lived and worked in Cleveland County twenty years ago there’s a good chance your job in some way depended upon cotton. For many years cotton and textiles fueled our local economy and created steady jobs for a lot of people. Things began to change in Cleveland County about 15 years ago when over 4,000 textile jobs were lost between 1998 and 2003. In 2008 we had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest unemployment rate of any county in North Carolina.

Today things are much different. The economic climate in Cleveland County continues to improve and once again companies are hiring. Since 2009, more than 2,500 new jobs and over $2.55 billion in new capital investment have been announced. A few local textile companies still exist and are doing well but the face of manufacturing has changed drastically. Here in Cleveland County new industry sectors have emerged such as automotive, aerospace & defense, energy, data centers, consumer goods, and advanced manufacturing. These growing industry sectors and the new companies that are investing in Cleveland County are creating well-paying job opportunities for those people that have the specific job skills that are in demand.

Cleveland Community College (CCC) works closely with local business and industry to provide training for the specific job skills our local companies require. Local companies like MACO and Greenheck have a strong demand for welders and in response to this demand CCC will graduate over 50 people this May who will have earned their NCCER Welding I & II certification. Technical trades such as welding, electrical, and CNC machining are in high demand among Cleveland County employers.

In addition to technical skills, employers expect job applicants to already have the “essential job skills” needed to be successful in the workplace. Essential job skills include things like professionalism, work ethic, communication skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. In response to the needs of employers, Cleveland NC Works at CCC worked with local employers to develop the Cleveland County Work-Ready Certificate. This four-week certification process helps students practice essential job skills while preparing them to pass the company interview process and become a successful employee.

Whether you need to learn an employer-specific job skill, obtain an industry certification, or earn a two-year degree CCC can help you identify the career path that’s right for you and provide the training you need to get a job. Contact Cleveland NC Works today to speak with a Success Coach and create a plan to get the skills you need to land your next job!

Talk to a Success Coach today!