The Manufacturing Solutions Center, which has expanded its outreach throughout the region, is positioned to launch a statewide jobs creation program in partnership with the Kaufman Foundation of Kansas City.
The Kaufman Foundation has signed an agreement with Catawba Valley Community College which has nurtured the MSC and the Hosiery Technology Center over the past 23 years. The activities of the MSC prompted the selection of CVCC, it was announced.
The foundation, which is poised to provide millions of dollars through CVCC , has asked the community college to raise $600,000 and use the Manufacturing Solutions Center to screen and select entrepreneurs across North Carolina for grants to capitalize their manufacturing startups.
Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, president, said CVCC is one of three community colleges in the nation selected for the program. Kaufman executives picked CVCC because of the work and reputation of the Manufacturing Solutions Center. A similar undertaking in Ohio has been sponsored by the foundation, resulting in hundreds of new jobs.
North Carolina legislative leaders are studying the concept with the possible addition of funds to the MSC appropriation to help cover the startup funds. Additional funds are proposed from state and private sources.
Dan St. Louis, who was instrumental in the development of the MSC, has 10,000 square feet in his new facility for an incubator. He has been assisting entrepreneurs with product development and marketing over the past decade and he believes the Kaufman grants “will be huge.”
“I have worked with many people trying to start up a business. Having working capital will put entrepreneurs on the road to success,” St. Louis reflects. Candidates for Kaufman support will be identified through community colleges and economic development agencies across North Carolina.