The future of production at Nash College


Macy O’Hara was preparing to enlist in the Navy after high school when her plans failed. She never dreamed that in a few years she would be making foam products at a factory 30 miles west of where she grew up.

“I was studying welding at Nash College in high school, and I really enjoyed it, so I thought, why not try welding,” she said. Macy graduated from Nash Central High School and entered Nash Public College.

In May 2020, she graduated with honors from her Assistance in Applied Sciences in Welding Technology in Nash. “During the pandemic, I was not ready to join the workforce,” she said. “So I re-entered Nash, this time for computer-integrated processing.”

Macy started the program in the fall of 2020 and in the same semester was hired as a Nomaco intern at Zebulon.

Photo by Catherine Engracia, NCC Marketing and Communications Coordinator

“I’ve never been a girl,” she said. “I may have nails, but don’t let that fool you. I read drawings and drawings of products, use a tape measure and a caliper. I like to get there and work on cars, like the guys. ”

As an assistant flex operator at Nomaco, Macy is responsible for setting up, operating and maintaining equipment in the areas of extrusion, conversion, recycling (processing), warehousing and quality control. The term “flex” means that she moves around the institution where she is needed.

“Macy and her team members are the future of advanced manufacturing in the United States,” said Nomaco President and CEO J. P. Hill. “That’s why we’re investing a million dollars in technical training, production training and leadership.”

“I used to work in fast food,” Macy said. “I wanted to get out of it and do something interesting. And it’s really fun. When I take turns, I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to work on. Every day they come up with new products for us. It’s so exciting. I love my job. ” The products are light and completely recyclable, so the company is really growing, Hill said.

Photo by Catherine Engracia, NCC Marketing and Communications Coordinator

At Nomaco, Macy has undergone OSHA-compliant forklift safety training and has an internal certificate in vehicle driving. She attended 5S and Soft Skills training at the American Society for Quality. “People are our most important resource, and we are happy that Macy has become a member of our team,” Hill said. “We will continue to invest in her growth and development throughout her long career at Nomaco.”

Experience in both welding and machining has allowed Macy to repair machine problems, repair machines, help improve production efficiency and quality, and work in various aspects of the production process.

Macy also completed the Creative Leadership Center training program for leaders who are working for the first time to adapt their thinking to become effective leaders. She took an extrusion course at the company to learn about the internal workings of the extruder. The fundamental science of polymers has also been an important part of its growth and training in advanced manufacturing.

“People may not be aware of it, but specifications and requirements can change all the time,” Macy said. “What’s in the specs now may be out of the specs later. It’s staggering. “

She enjoys learning to drive machines in the classroom and then apply those skills to create products in the factory. “If you’ve ever been to TJ Maxx and seen simulators labeled‘ gaiam ’, then I’ve probably helped make them,” she said.

Photo by Catherine Engracia, NCC Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Macy works 30 hours each week, enrolling full-time in Nash. She will finish her second degree in May 2022. “I tell everyone: you need to go to Nash. Teachers are supportive and understanding, and they can help you achieve your career goals. ”

“We are grateful to Nash, so we have invested in SkillsUSA whenever possible,” Hill said. NCC students participating in SkillsUSA prepare for careers in the commercial, technical and skilled service professions, competing at the state and national levels and developing technical, academic and job readiness skills.

Receiving two degrees, Macy has received numerous scholarships, including the Winstead Family Skilled Trades Scholarship, the Crown LSP Group Scholarship, the Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship, the Rocky Mount Rotary Open Doors Scholarship and educational support from her employer. “I was not entitled to financial aid because I live at home,” Macy said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of generous donors and my family. My family encouraged me every step of the way. They brag about me all the time and tell others how proud they are. They were a great motivation for me. “

The Kelly Painter Deal

Kelley Paynter Deal is a marketing communications strategist with more than 15 years of experience in the public and private sectors who executes effective data-based marketing programs. Kelly holds the position of Dean of Marketing and Strategic Relations at Nash Public College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

The future of production at Nash College

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