April 18, 2018

Gaining employment is not as simple as filling out an application. It requires education, understanding of personal strengths, a proper resume, interview skills, and more to make a person “employable.”

With that in mind, New College Institute partnered with Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) to offer a one-day employability workshop where local teenagers could learn about all the skills and resources needed to develop a career.

 “We want these students to understand the importance of earning credentials and also help them identify careers that fit their interests and skills,” shared Melissa Gordon, Dream It. Do It. Virginia Coordinator for VMA.  “There are great career possibilities for them here in Martinsville-Henry County, and we want to make sure they are aware of their options.”

Topics of focus included skills assessment, personal brand, and financial literacy. In addition, students participated in hands-on activities such as demonstrations of machinery available in NCI’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing as well as a team-building exercise where students built their own model motor.

Andrew Rakes, who is considering a career in computer programming, said that his favorite activity was the tour of the facilities at NCI, where he “learned more about how the machines work and how they can be programmed to cut metal.” 

               Another participant, Malcolm Hairston, took away lessons on “budgeting for the lifestyle you want and how you need to manage your money.”

               These lessons – whether they be technical skills in engineering or life skills in finance – help to prepare students for their future careers and responsibilities.

“One of my favorite moments in the workshop, was when the students toured the Center for Advanced Manufacturing.  They were able to speak directly to an industry partner, not much older than themselves, and ask him questions about programming and operating the CNC Milling Machine, as he worked on an R&D project for his company.  This was a great opportunity for students to see what they needed to do to take their dreams from concept to reality,” said Pamela Carter-Taylor, NCI Coordinator of Advanced Manufacturing.