Robeson Community College

Robeson Technical Works contributes $15,000 to Robeson Community College Foundation

LUMBERTON — Members of Robeson Technical Works recently contributed $15,000 to the Robeson Community College Foundation for scholarships.

Beginning in fall 2016, $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to five students each year. The initial funding comes from Robeson Technical Works, but continued support of the scholarship will be raised by the annual Southeastern Human Resources Association Golf Tournament and other contributors.

The remaining $10,000 from the recent contribution will go toward the Robeson Technical Works Endowed Scholarship. Recipients of the scholarships must be enrolled in a two-year Electrical or Industrial Systems Technology program at RCC and commit to working in the area for at least two years upon graduation.

The foundation’s director, Rebekah Lowry, and Pamela Hilbert, president of Robeson Community College, accepted the donation at Campbell’s Soup in Maxton.

Robeson Technical Works is a partnership comprised of area industrial employers, business leaders, Southeastern Human Resources Association members, educators and several other groups and individuals.

“I’ve been involved in workforce development for over 20 years and this is the most exciting effort I’ve been involved in,” said William Locklear, assistant vice president for Applied Technology Programs at Robeson Community College. “This is a true partnership between the private and public sector.”

Robeson Technical Works was born out of a need for skilled labor in local manufacturing plants. Human resources officials at various industries realized that a limited pool of skilled technicians was available locally and that local industries were competing with each other for those technicians. Together they decided that a more effective approach to the dilemma would be to cooperate and work together to grow the area’s skilled labor pool.

Locally there is a strong need for mechanics, electricians, electronic technicians, robotics and controls technicians, machinists and tool and die makers. The group estimates that at least 220 new technical positions will be needed by seven of the major industries in the county within the next five years. Among the largest, Sanderson Farms has an expected need of 125 skilled technicians, while Campbell Soup has an expected need of 32.

Robeson Technical Works has identified more than $100,000 in needs for equipment, personnel and marketing to move its initiative forward.

To contribute, or to become a part of Robeson Technical Works, contact Lowry at 910-272-3235 or by email at or contact Elizabeth McPhaul, regional human resources manager for Elkay Manufacturing, at The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24 at COMtech.

Dennis Watts is the public information officer for Robeson Community College.