Manufacturing alive and well at RCC

Dennis Watts | Robeson Community College

April 5, 2014

Sometimes people just don’t get the message. More than 100 years ago, Friedrich Neitzsche declared that God was dead, but if one were to count the number of churches in the county and state, it quickly becomes apparent that many have not accepted his message.

With the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, many declared manufacturing dead in the United States. While manufacturing has taken a hit during the past 20 years, a quick count of the industries in the county and state makes it apparent that declaration of death is not entirely true, especially when it comes to high-tech advanced manufacturing.

Following up on the success of Robeson Community College’s inaugural celebration of Manufacturing Awareness Week last year — which included visits from the STEM bus and State Community College President Scott Ralls — this year’s event, which begins Monday and runs through Friday, promises to be just as exciting and successful.

As the lead of the 10-member North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, RCC has spent several months planning for the local celebration, which will be one of many across the state. In addition to each of the 10 community colleges of the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, more than 30 other sites across the state are also celebrating Manufacturing Awareness Week to let people know that manufacturing, especially high-tech manufacturing, is alive and well in North Carolina.

Monday’s activities at Robeson Community College will begin at 1 p.m. with demonstrations of a multitude of electronic training equipment housed in buildings 9 and 12 on the main campus. At 5 p.m., the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Business After Hours social in the Charles V. Chrestman Workforce Development Center featuring Miss North Carolina Johna Edmonds and Mountaire Farms Executive Mark Reif as guest speaker.

Tuesday’s events will begin with the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce “Rise N Shine” breakfast at 8 a.m. Siemens and Festo, manufacturers of advanced electronic equipment, will have a large mobile exhibit displaying some of its technology on campus. Demonstrations of Robeson Community College’s Advance Manufacturing programs and equipment, including new Lincoln virtual welders, will be on continuous display throughout the day.

Wednesday’s events will focus on health care. There will be a variety of lectures to supplement the ongoing demonstrations and a Health Walk will be held at 1 p.m.

Thursday’s events, in addition to the ongoing displays and lectures, include visits from various public schools, a model racetrack created by Advanced Manufacturing Club member Chris Campbell, and 3D printer demonstrations. The Public Schools of Robeson County will hold its monthly parent meeting on campus and parents and students will be able to tour the facilities and observe equipment demonstrations.

This is just a highlight of the many events occurring on campus this week. For a complete schedule, visit Robeson Community College’s Facebook page at

Come out and join us this week as the public is invited to attend these events. Those planning to attend the Pembroke Chamber Rise ‘N Shine Breakfast should RSVP to Angela Sumner at or call her at 910-272-3678.

Those planning to attend the Public Schools’ parent night should RSVP by Tuesday to Amy Haigler at or by calling 910-735-2190.

For more information concerning the schedule of events, contact Angela Sumner at 910-272-3678 or, or Emily Jones at 910-272-3475 or for more information.

Dennis Watts is the public information officer at Robeson Community College. If you have questions about RCC or suggestions for future articles, he can be reached at