NCC and SkillsUSA Framework Help Extrusion Company
Leaders from Nomaco, an extrusion company located in Zebulon, NC, visited Nash Community College’s campus on Friday, February 24, 2023.
The company is an industry leader in the design and extrusion of custom-engineered foam products and components used in construction, home furnishings, packaging, fitness, recreation and more.
“Connecting to Nash Community College all started with one phone call. Nomaco leaders call it providence,” said Wil van der Meulen, who recently retired from Nash Community College. “When Nomaco had a need, they called on the community college and we answered that call.” This led to a tour of Nash Community College which included a review of Nash’s involvement in SkillsUSA and particularly, the SkillsUSA Framework.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America to strengthen the country’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics.
The SkillsUSA Framework empowers students to succeed at work and in life while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s credentialing process, they can assess how prepared potential employees are for their career.
“When Nomaco learned about the SkillsUSA Framework and the Skillibus at Nash, they decided to adopt the Framework into their success path,” van der Meulen said. Since retiring from NCC, van der Meulen now works as SkillsUSA’s North Carolina Postsecondary Support Director.
In 2019, Nash Community College named their new SkillsUSA Framework integration tool, the ‘Skillibus’. Similar to a syllabus which documents required coursework, the Skillibus is a listing of employability skills Nash students learn while earning an Associate in Applied Science degree. NCC’s Skillibus concept is now being shared across the North Carolina Community College System as an employability skills best practice.
“We derived a tremendous amount of value from learning about the SkillsUSA framework,” Noel Group CEO and President of Noel Innovations and Herc LLC, JP Hill said. From the Skillibus concept, Nomaco developed its own “Success Path”. This allows Nomaco employees to be rewarded for their proficiency in workplace, personal and technical skills grounded in academics.
Nomaco President Bryan Bunker was on campus Friday to celebrate the partnership with the College’s SkillsUSA Chapter. During the visit, Bunker presented the NCC Physical Therapist Assistant program with Nomaco foam roller products. These rollers will be used as training props by the program that will help students in training to position patients during recovery.
Bunker praised Nash Community College for preparing workers skilled for careers at the company. One NCC graduate in particular, Macey O’Hara, was uniquely positioned to launch her career with Nomaco. O’Hara graduated with degrees in Welding and Computer-Integrated Machining and works at Nomaco troubleshooting machine issues, repairing machines, and helping to improve production efficiency and quality as she works in various aspects of the production process. “We need as many people like Macey as you can prepare,” Bunker said.
The college has applied the SkillsUSA framework across disciplines throughout campus and plans to implement it in all courses in the future.