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Catawba County - Industry-Education Alignment Initiatives

Successful alignment of industry and education for strengthened manufacturing workforce pipelines is achieved when business, education, and community leaders establish collective goals and commit to plans of action for achieving shared community and economic development strategies. We want to hear from you!

What industry-education alignment projects/initiatives are you working on in Catawba County? Share your project goals and objectives below.


By clicking the “Take Action” button below you can share current and ongoing manufacturing industry-education alignment projects in your community. Include your organization’s name and any partners engaged in your alignment efforts. Initial Action Statuses are limited to 400 characters. However, additional content and updates can be provided as comments to respective actions. Be sure to include pertinent project goals, outcomes and outputs.


Some examples of notable alignment projects and initiatives include:

In 2007 Chicago’s Manufacturing Renaissance Council led a multi-party team of public and private stakeholders in establishing the Austin Polytechnical Academy. APA is a nationally acclaimed public college and career prep high school with a mission to educate the next generation of leaders in all aspects of manufacturing (including skilled production, engineering, management, and company ownership). For more information on Austin Polytechnical Academy:

The City of Monroe and Union County launched a manufacturing awareness campaign funded by the private sector. The program encourages young people to consider manufacturing careers. In the first phase of the two-year program, the city brought all ten of the county’s high school principals to tour several manufacturing facilities in the area. For more information:

Action Statuses  (3)

Tracy H,

I am already working with a group on this issue, and we plan to expand our efforts by working with new entrepreneurs to get new products to the marketplace. Products at Manufacturing Solutions Center have appeared on Oprah, QVC and numerous outlets. They range from water pitchers to by-products from biodiesel processing. MSC provides help by prototyping the products, costing, finding a manufacturer, distribution to strategic planning.

Crystal G,

I am already working with a group on this issue, and we plan to expand our efforts by offering curriculum credit for short-term, customized, industry-led Mechatronics (Continuing Ed.) Certificates w/3rd party industry credentials. This certificate will be offered as a summer boot camp for high school graduates that could not fit work-based learning into their class schedule and college students looking for hands-on training to complement their theory-based engineering courses.

Jim T,

I am already working with a group on this issue, and we plan to expand our efforts by recruiting more companies to join the newly formed Apprenticeship Catawba. This is a collaborative effort involving local industry, four public school systems, the community college, NCCET, and NCDOL. This project creates a career pathway from high school through the community college and into high demand jobs that require essential technical skills. Google “video at Apprenticeship Catawba”.