Blue Ridge Community College believes investing in the local community makes a global impact.
Advanced Manufacturing is a booming industry in North Carolina. With a large number of global manufacturers housed locally in Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge invests time and effort in developing a strong Advanced Manufacturing program that prepares graduates for the growing workforce around them.
Martin Avery, Graduate of Brevard High School
BRCC Graduate, Mechatronics Engineering Technology
Currently enrolled in BRCC Associate of Engineering Transfer Program
Martin Avery is a Blue Ridge student with one degree already on his resume. Avery completed an Associate in Mechatronics at BRCC and is now working on his Associate in Engineering. Martin’s story began like most others’. After graduating high school, Martin wasn’t sure about a career and didn’t want to go into debt, so he landed a job at a local manufacturing giant, Continental Teves. What started out as a way to pay bills, quickly turned into a stepping stone in Martin’s journey to success. At Continental, Martin discovered his passion for this industry. “It (Continental) led me in a direction of hey, ‘I like this and enjoy this. I want to go to school and learn.’” Blue Ridge gave Martin the chance to gain the knowledge of the industry to propel him to more opportunities in the workforce. It showed him that no dream is too far out of reach. “I started out as what they call a ‘setter.’ I wanted to continue my education to be a technician. I now have a group of people that I manage and I am studying to eventually be an engineer,” said Avery.
The Advanced Manufacturing program at Blue Ridge aims to provide knowledge directly applicable to workforce demands. Martin talked about how the program at Blue Ridge compares to work in the real world. “The whole process is parallel to the work environment. You have PLCs everywhere and you learn that here [at BRCC]. As far as different sensors, switches, you learn that. You learn hydraulic. You will see all that in the workplace. Troubleshooting, electrical. Everything in that program runs parallel.”
Already starting his second degree from Blue Ridge, Avery has seen the Advanced Manufacturing program grow. “Just from being here, I have seen growth. It’s a continual thing,” said Avery. The consistent growth in the program, whether it’s new equipment in the lab or a new partnership in the community, strengthens Blue Ridge’s impact in the industry. For Martin Avery, the strength of the program opens endless doors in his future: “I can go to any state or any place in the world because of my degree. As far as the industry goes, this program here is phenomenal.”