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Wednesday, 08 March 2006 00:00

HCC gets grant for machining center

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The Golden LEAF Foundation has made a $1,573,109 grant to Haywood Community College to establish an advanced machining center at its Regional High Technology Center in Waynesville.

The center, which will serve North Carolina’s western counties, will create similar training capabilities to the program established at Lenoir Community College in Kinston with a $2.6 million Golden LEAF grant awarded previously.

Golden LEAF has made almost $11 million in grants as part of the state’s Aerospace Alliance to help North Carolinians get into the business of manufacturing spare parts for aging military aircraft. There is a shortage of advanced machinists statewide, and the machinists are key to developing businesses to turn out the often one-of-a-kind spare parts needed to keep aging aircraft flying.

Western North Carolina also has cluster industries that produce parts for the automotive, marine trades and medical device industries.

Valeria Lee, president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, said, “This grant to Haywood Community College, west of Asheville, illustrates that the niche, spare-parts manufacturing industry potentially could reach into and impact any county in North Carolina.”

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