North Carolina Manufacturing Inc. honored its founder and three employees in a ceremony at its shop.
In welcoming visitors to the company for the event, Steve Mayo, company president and son of business founder Ray Mayo, spoke about how his father championed apprenticeship.
“It actually goes back more than a few years,” Steve Mayo said, to 1971 when his father graduated from his own machinist apprenticeship at the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School and became an instructor there.
Ray Mayo went into business for himself in Goldsboro in 1982 and started an apprenticeship program in 1990. “He realized just how important an apprenticeship program is to having a successful business,” Steve Mayo said.
“Ray was an advocate for apprenticeships and also the trades,” Steve Mayo said. He served on the ApprenticeshipNC Advisory Council and with many trade-related organizations as well as spoke at functions on those topics.
“The most common concerns he heard were, ‘training is expensive’ – Ray’s response to that was, ‘It is more costly if you do not train.’ And ‘What if we train and they do not stay, they leave?’ Ray’s response to that was, ‘What if we do not train them and they stay,’” Steve Mayo recounted.
At the time that Ray Mayo died in October 2020 he was serving as a member of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Wayne Business and Industry Center Executive Director Craig Foucht shared that the board had announced the establishment of a Ray Mayo Scholarship as part of its 2021 recognition of National Apprenticeship Week.
“The County of Wayne has decided to recognize the dedication of this family and Mr. Mayo in this community and also the commitment that he had to apprenticeships,” Foucht said. “We’ll look to continue a high-skilled workforce that is going to be in collaboration with the community college.”
Three of the company’s CNC (computer numerical control) machinist apprentices – James Paul Benton, Cody Benjamin Corbett, and Michael Trumayne Hand – were recognized for completing their apprenticeships and moving to journeyman status. They were presented certificates from the North Carolina Community College System’s ApprenticeshipNC initiative and the United States Department of Labor by ApprenticeshipNC’s Southeast Regional Apprenticeship Consultant Danny Boykin.
“Journeymen are considered competent and authorized to work in that field as fully qualified employees. The road to journeyman is not an easy road. It requires determination to go to school and work at the same time,” said Wayne Community College Apprenticeship Coordinator Kristie Sauls.
All three of the new journeymen have studied at the college. Corbett and Hand have earned all six academic certificates (Basic Machining, CNC Operator, CNC Programming, Computer-Aided Manufacturing, Coordinate Measuring Machine, and Intermediate Machining) available through the college’s Computer-Integrated Machining Program. The credits accumulated to earn the certificates can also lead to a diploma or degree in Computer-Integrated Machining.
“’You have chosen a noble career, one that is too often undervalued but crucial to the functioning of our modern society,’” Foucht said to the graduates, quoting Jim Olsztynski, a retired trade magazine editor and author.
“‘Society depends on you much more than they do politicians, social workers, assorted paper pushers in the buildings around us. The work you will do is supremely honorable and necessary. It is my hope that you enjoy a good income in your career but more than that, that you enjoy the satisfaction of looking at you work and thinking, I made that,’” Foucht quoted.
Steve Mayo also recognized those in the shop who previously completed their apprenticeships and their years of service to NC Manufacturing: Jason Bailey – 13 years, Eric Robinson – 24 years, Bill Jones – 28 years, and himself with 31 years.
About NC Manufacturing
North Carolina Manufacturing Inc., located in Goldsboro, NC, is a full-service contract machine shop that makes precision parts used in aerospace, nuclear valves, bakery equipment, automotive tools, key machines, and heat exchangers.