Wayne Community College is asking the community to contribute to its next building.
The college is preparing to construct the Center for Industrial Technology and Engineering (CITE) to house its college-credit industrial manufacturing-related training programs. It will also include space for short-term industrial and manufacturing-related training offered by the Workforce Continuing Education Division.
“I’ve very excited about this opportunity for our applied tech programs,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer. “This building is going to have a significant impact on those programs which will in turn have a significant impact on other programs at the college.”
Programs in the Allied Health and Business and Computer Technologies areas will expand into areas currently occupied by Industrial and Engineering Programs.
Boomerang Design and T.A. Loving Company have been selected as the design-build team to construct the 40,000 square-foot building. The contractors have already begun meeting with campus stakeholders to ensure the facility meets their needs.
“We are trying to build a space that is appropriate for the level of instruction they provide,” said WCC Vice President of Operations Derek Hunter.
“The new building will allow growth and enhancement of programs for apprenticeships, short-term training, curriculum degree attainment, and Career and College Promise specifically in the career technical education focus area,” Hunter said. “CITE will offer space specifically designed for the safe, efficient and effective training of students on the latest technologies in the industrial manufacturing arena.”
“Manufacturing is the largest private sector industry in our region and is also the fastest growing,” said Foundation of Wayne Community College Executive Director Adrienne Northington. “CITE will support this growth by offering state-of-the-art training for our students for years to come.”
“Manufacturing is huge here in eastern North Carolina. Right now, I think there’s over 100 jobs
available just in Wayne County,” said WCC Mechatronics Lead Instructor Bobby McArthur.
“But people can’t just walk in off the street and get these jobs anymore; there’s such a high skills
“We need a place where we can train them so they can get those skills,” McArthur said. “What I
expect to see in the CITE building is space to move around and space to grow because this is not
where we’re ending, this is just the beginning.” Donnie Barnes, president of Alta Foods, a local tortilla manufacturer, agreed. “We have to get a more trained workforce where it come where it involves manufacturing,” he said.
“We see a problem in the future for the community if we don’t build CITE and we don’t train
these people for the more complicated processes of manufacturing,” Barnes said. “You are going
to hear the economic development people in the county saying we can’t get companies to come
in because they’re not confident that we can’t supply them with a workforce that they need.”
The estimated budget for this building is $12,300,000.
A capital campaign is under way to raise the funds for the project. The County of Wayne, State of North Carolina, Golden LEAF Foundation, as well as the Foundation of WCC, have made financial commitments to the construction, Northington said, but she is appealing to the public to bring in the remainder needed to build the center.
“The investment we make today will help secure the future of manufacturing excellence in Wayne County and eastern North Carolina,” Northington said.
Barnes, who as a WCC trustee has been chairing the CITE capital campaign, said he tells people, “CITE is going to allow the college to supply you with the workforce you’re gonna need in five years, 10 years, 20 years. If you don’t get that workforce and your competitor in Charlotte or your competitor in Richmond, or your competitor in Chicago does get that workforce, you’re going to eventually feel the financial detriment of CITE not being built.”
“Your gifts and support are needed as we work to make CITE a reality for our campus and community,” said Northington. “Will you help us build CITE?”
Anyone who would like to learn more about the project and contribute to it can go to www.waynecc.edu/foundation/build-cite/.