The cover story for the June 17 Greater Wilmington Business Journal issue focuses on training and the workforce pipeline for the area’s manufacturing sector.
North Carolina, like many other states, faces a severe shortage of manufacturing workers as companies bring their operations back to the United States. The N.C. Department of Commerce estimates that the state will need nearly 500,000 more manufacturing workers by 2028 – almost 7,500 in the Wilmington area alone.
Officials working on that topic join us for today’s BizTalk. We’ll speak with Cape Fear Community College officials on training initiatives as well as local manufacturers about what they’re seeing in the market and how they’re planning for future needs.
Jon Barber, General Manager, JCC Outdoor Products Inc.-Wilmington Grill
Wilmington-based JCC Outdoor Products makes products for outdoor use out of heavy-duty stainless steel, including fire pits and tables. The company manufactures the Wilmington Grill line, which distributes nationally. Jon Barber’s family purchased the Wilmington Grill brand in 2011.
Erin Easton, Workforce Training Coordinator, CFCC
In her role at CFCC, Erin Easton implements, markets and coordinates workforce training. She partners with the local community organizations, K-12 schools and businesses to determine needs and viable training. Before this role, Easton spent 12 years in career college administration and worked as the business engagement manager at the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board and formed the Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership, a group of area manufacturing executives that started meeting in 2020.
James Flock, General Manager, Blair-HSM
Jim Flock has lived and worked in the Wilmington area for seven years. He is the general manager of HSM Machine Works, a growing aerospace manufacturer, a member of the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board and the member of the Cape Fear Manufacturing Partnership.
WilmingtonBiz Talk is a weekly interview program on Facebook Live, which is rebroadcast on YouTube and numerous podcasting platforms. The Business Journal newsroom selects guests based on current events so our community can hear directly from newsmakers.