Manufacturer of high-performance cutting tools leverages Danville-Pittsylvania advanced manufacturing pipeline for high-quality workforce needs
DANVILLE, Virginia – (April 7, 2022) – KYOCERA SGS Tech Hub has hired three student interns who recently graduated from the Integrated Machining Technology (IMT) third-year capstone program, instructed by Danville Community College (DCC) and housed and financed by the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR).
Students Jonathan Gauldin, Bobby Moran and Joel Oakes celebrated the occasion with KYOCERA by participating in a signing ceremony at the Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining where they received their training. Gauldin, Moran and Oakes will start on April 11 as Setup A technicians, one of KYOCERA’s highest-level grinding positions. They will join Josh Owen, another IMT graduate, who started at KYOCERA as a Setup C technician on April 4.
“To thrive in a highly competitive global market, there needs to be a system in place that creates a workforce for our future,” said Jason Wells, president of KYOCERA SGS Tech Hub. “The unparalleled training and education that Danville Community College and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research have established, allow companies such as KYOCERA to focus on our core business and growth with less focus on skill development. Our elected officials, community leaders, educators and local citizens have put in the hard work to address skilled workforce development needs.”
The IMT program serves as an optional third year of advanced training for completers of two-year precision machining programs or for those with equivalent work experience. The hands-on instruction by DCC takes seven months and is set in a flow cell environment to build true-to-life advanced manufacturing experience and leadership skills. A 90-hour internship fulfills requirements for an associate degree.
“DCC, in partnership with the IALR, is proud to be a leader in the creation of talent for Pittsylvania County and the surrounding region,” said Dr. Muriel Mickles, interim president at DCC. “The IMT capstone program is an excellent example of many ways DCC is supporting the growth of the manufacturing industry here in Danville while ensuring exciting, high-paying jobs for our students.”
The success of the IMT program has grown since its inception in 2015. Noted by Virginia and Arkansas governors and other localities as a benchmark model, the program also helped seal the win of the location bid for the 2018 Haas Technical Education Center Americas CNC Educators Conference. A team of students won last year’s Project MFG National Skilled Trade Championship, and others have won medals at the SkillsUSA Championships.
“The Integrated Machining Technology program is a key aspect of the progressive talent pipeline the Danville-Pittsylvania County region has championed to attract and retain high-performance jobs and industry like KYOCERA,” said Troy Simpson, director of advanced manufacturing for IALR. “We continue to work with KYOCERA and other companies to ensure the curriculum of DCC and the facilities housed and financed by IALR are state of the art and industry-driven.”
Gauldin, Moran and Oakes will bring the following industry-recognized credentials to their new positions at KYOCERA: MCOSMOS C1 and C2, a cutting technology certificate and the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. Other employers who have benefited from these credentialed IMT graduates in the past include FasTech, Piedmont Precision Machine, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, BWX Technologies and others.
“I am extremely proud of all our Integrated Machining Technology graduates and congratulate Jonathan, Bobby, Joel and Josh on their new journey with such an impactful industry as KYOCERA,” said Dr. Betty Jo Foster, interim president at IALR. “I hope their path to successful employment is an example and inspiration to other youth in our area who seek high-quality jobs and meaningful careers. The partnership between DCC, IALR and industry like KYOCERA offers hands-on instruction that leads to job opportunities for our community and workforce solutions for advanced manufacturers.”
KYOCERA has actively supported the region’s talent development efforts. Wells serves in multiple board positions, including the advisory boards for both Danville Community College’s workforce services programs and the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC™) program, a GO Virginia-supported program administered by IALR that educates and trains middle schoolers to post-secondary students on relevant career pathways.
In September 2016, KYOCERA SGS Tech Hub announced it would invest $9.5 million and bring 35 new jobs paying an average annual salary of $65,000 to the Cyber Park, a technology park jointly owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County through the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA).
The company broke ground in the spring of 2017 on the 30,000-square-foot manufacturing and research hub, which was designed and constructed by Blair Construction and sits on 10 acres directly across from the campus of IALR. The grand opening was celebrated in September 2019.
For additional photos of the KYOCERA signing ceremony for the three interns/new recruits, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzJLCB.