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Workforce Development Leaders Honored by Governor Cooper Governor’s NCWorks Awards of Distinction Announced


Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that a wood veneer manufacturer, a regional collaborative for economic development, and four individual North Carolinians have won NCWorks Awards of Distinction for outstanding accomplishments and contributions in workforce development. The awards were presented last evening during a ceremony held in Greensboro.

“These programs and people are helping North Carolinians get the skills and training needed to get and keep good jobs,” Gov. Cooper said. “I congratulate these honorees and thank them for their dedication to improving our workforce.”

The Governor’s NCWorks Awards of Distinction honor outstanding examples from the state’s workforce development system. The NCWorks Commission, appointed by the Governor and operating as the state’s official workforce development board, recognized these outstanding individuals and businesses at a ceremony held during the 2017 NCWorks Partnership Conference on October 12. 

NCWorks Awards were presented to the following recipients:

  • Marvin Lear of Kannapolis: Outstanding Adult. Lear was laid off after twenty-nine years with one employer. He had limited education and narrow experience, but enrolled in training through the Centralina Workforce Development Board to learn new technology and skills, earning his Certified Production Technician Certificate through the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute (NCMI) and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. He is now employed at DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation as a Coding Operator working with photography film machines and was promoted to Group Leader nine weeks after he was hired. 
  • Destiny Mader of Marion: Outstanding Young Adult. Mader has faced many obstacles, but found a mentor at her workplace and discovered services and training options that made a difference. At McDowell Technical Community College (MTCC) Mader earned a GED and several national certifications in manufacturing technology and has worked at the NCWorks Career Center. Mader is a positive role model for other students and has spoken to civic groups about the services available through the career center. She continues her education in the web technology program at MTCC and has been inducted into the National Vocational Honor Society. 
  • Nadja M. Brown of Gastonia: Outstanding Teen. A rising senior at Piedmont Community School in Gastonia, Brown is enrolled in the Career and College Promise Program (CCP) through Gaston College. She exemplifies leadership skills, passion for learning, and commitment to academic achievement. She has earned six college credits that will transfer to the University of North Carolina system and serves as the Vice President of the National Honor Society. Brown is working toward a career in health care. 
  • Michael Cloy of Gastonia: Wayne Daves Award for Outstanding Achievement in Workforce Development. Retired U.S. Army Colonel Michael Cloy works hard to improve the lives of local veterans. As a Disabled Veteran Outreach Representative with the Division of Workforce Solutions and Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries Veteran Services of the Carolinas, Cloy serves veterans who face barriers to employment. Cloy also connects veterans, including homeless individuals, to services available through the NCWorks Career Center. In the past year, Cloy has helped 99 veterans integrate into the workforce and has established himself as a leader in the community. 
  • Columbia Forest Products of Old Fort: Outstanding Employer. Industry leader Columbia Forest Products emphasizes community engagement and has helped employ dozens of individuals at a sustainable living wage. Columbia Forest Products has implemented a pre-hire training program that provides job readiness and manufacturing skills for new employees. 
  • McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee: Innovative Partnership. The McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee brings together partner agencies, local employers, training providers, and community leaders to connect job seekers with opportunities through local employers. The committee has grown into a robust organization over time, producing 165 Manufacturing Certification graduates, 137 graduates who are currently employed, and 25 graduates who are no longer homeless. 



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