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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Lands Two Major Corporate Training Partnerships

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College announced two new corporate training partnerships during a special event held Thursday, June 24, at its Advanced Technology Center (ATC) at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C.

Okuma America Corporation, a world-leading builder of CNC machine tools, controls, and automation systems, and RJG, a recognized international leader in injection molding training, consulting and technology, will both locate corporate training centers at the state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center.

The event was attended by key community stakeholders and included remarks from Rowan-Cabarrus Board Chair Carl M. Short, Jr., College President Dr. Carol Spalding, RJG Training and Consulting Manager Shane Vandekerkhof, Okuma Vice President of Sales & Marketing Tim Thiessen, Kannapolis City Mayor Darrell Hinnant and Cabarrus County Commission Chair Steve Morris.

RJG Inc., a recognized international leader in injection molding training, consulting and technology, will equip and staff a fully operational lab and classroom space at the Advanced Technology Center to offer injection molding certification and advanced composite training.

The training center will prepare students for jobs in the advanced materials manufacturing industry, including positions as fabricators, machine operators, technicians, molding line operators and more. RJG has more than 100 years of experience in scientific molding and operates training centers worldwide.

The Okuma-Rowan-Cabarrus partnership will provide technical training to Okuma customers, distributors, and employees at the new Okuma Machine Tool Academy (OMTA) located within Advanced Technology Center.

The Okuma Machine Tool Academy is expected to house several of the company’s flagship products, including an Okuma LB3000 EX II horizontal lathe and an Okuma GENOS M460V-5AX five-axis vertical machining center. Courses are slated to begin in October 2021 and will be offered in three focus areas: electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, and programming and operations.

The training program will bring in corporate training students from across the globe and will contribute to more than 5,000 hotel room nights per year.

“We knew that Rowan-Cabarrus Community College would help promote economic development in Cabarrus County, but we didn’t know that it be a leader that others could aspire to, serving as a flagship to help attract employers to the region,” said Steve Morris, chair of the Cabarrus County Commission. “These partnerships are just the beginning of a strong and bright future for our region thanks to the Advanced Technology Center.”

The Advanced Technology Center opened its doors in 2019 and is over 53,000 square feet in size. It houses adaptable labs and classrooms designed to meet industry growth for the next 50 years, including abundant flex space for industry partners to collaborate and innovate.

“We are thrilled to partner with Okuma and RJG to provide an outstanding location for their training needs,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus. “The Advanced Technology Center is intended to be a hub for these kinds of major training opportunities. Our collaboration with industry leaders will help tomorrow’s professionals develop the top-notch skills they need, in an environment tailored to the company’s needs.”

The building exists thanks to the support of the Cabarrus County voters who passed a bond referendum in 2014 to support the facility, additional assistance from the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, a federal Economic Development Administration grant, and private funding raised through the Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation.

“Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is committed to serving the needs of employers and driving workforce development,” Spalding said. “We are grateful for the community support that has made the Advanced Technology Center a reality which will enhance our region’s economic development and prosperity”.

For more information about the Okuma training program, please contact Natalie Rogers, at or 704-504-6040. For more information on RJG training opportunities, please contact Tashina Mahatha at or 704-216-7142.

Click here to view the original announcement by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

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