Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) student Adan Morales is thriving in his internship at Roof Curb Systems (RCS). He began co-oping there while a student at NACC this spring semester. Morales is the first intern to be hosted by RCS, located in Trenton, Georgia. When he was hired, he was given two hours of his work day to be set aside for SolidWorks training. RCS also paid for him to take the SolidWorks Associates Exam, which he has passed.
Greg Smyth, President of RCS, said, “Our first goal was to teach Adan our manufacturing process hands on from the shop floor up. He learned to operate most of our machinery first.” From there Adan learned how to use software packages that drive the manufacturing process. There is also dedicated daily training to 3-D modeling software. From day one a goal was set for Adan to pass the SolidWorks Associates Exam within six weeks. After receiving his certification he was then moved to actual design projects. “Everyone at our company enjoys working with Adan because he has a good work ethic, great attitude and is always ready to learn,” continued Smyth. “He is a quick learner; much of this is contributed to the educational foundation from his studies at NACC.”
RCS has made a long term commitment to participate with the NACC Co-op program and encourages others to consider participating in it as well. “RCS chose to partner with NACC because the school is engaged with industry and strives to meet the needs of businesses,” added Smyth. “NACC understands the true meaning of workforce development. Working with NACC is one of the best ways for our company to fill our current and future employment needs. As manufacturing continues to streamline and automate processes, our employment needs demand technical skill sets and 3-D modeling. We feel NACC can meet those needs.”
"Our workforce development staff is doing a great job with apprenticeship and co-op programs," stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. "We are very glad to see our students benefit from these efforts."
“The few months I have been at RCS have been a great learning experience,” said Morales. “I have not only been dealing with blueprints in the office, but I also get to go to the shop to see how everything is built after it is drawn. Being in the shop and seeing how everything is built makes me think differently when designing a project. I actually think of different problems they might have while building a project and think of different ways that I can design a project so that it can be easier to manufacture.”
Tasks, skills, and accomplishments he has acquired as a result of his participation in the co-op program include:
-getting the Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA),
-learning how to nest sheet metal parts,
-learning how to use a plasma cutter, and
-learning how to use a press break.
Kelly Black, Instructor of Drafting and Design Technology at NACC, said, “It's been a pleasure to have Adan in class and to see his successes through his participation in the co-op program. I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the folks at Roof Curb Systems. Mr. Smyth and his staff have truly gone above and beyond to help us establish a model example of how a DDT co-op needs to work.”
Morales is pleased he chose to attend Northeast Alabama Community College. “It is one of the top best community colleges close to home,” he explained. “Northeast has great instructors who are always willing to help with anything that they can. Also, they are always influencing students to keep learning and to always do the best to achieve their goals. However, the instructor that has influenced me the most at NACC has been Kelly Black. She is my advisor and is always doing her best so that we can be ready for a job. She is a really nice instructor and her actions let me know she cares a lot for her students.”
Morales highly recommends Northeast to anyone considering college. “NACC is not as expensive as some state colleges or universities,” he said. “The instructors will help every student to be prepared when transferring to a university or when looking for a job. It’s definitely a college that is always improving and always making a difference in a student’s life.”
Morales came to NACC as a graduate of Collinsville High School where he was one of the top five in the class of 2013. He was on the Collinsville Varsity Soccer Team from the 7th grade through his senior year. In his last year (2013) the Collinsville High School Soccer team won the 1A-4A state championship trophy. He was the goalkeeper and was elected the Most Valuable Player (MVP). He made the decision not to play college soccer because he wanted to focus more on his education. He wanted to get a job so that he could financially help his family. He began NACC in the fall 2013. In his free time he enjoys hiking, play soccer, going to the gym, playing basketball, and going out to eat with friends.
He also credits one of his best teachers in high school who he considers a great role model. He is Robert Hullet who has a degree in Drafting and Design Technology. “I did the research and I really thought Drafting and Design was interesting and, at this point, I do really enjoy it,” he said.
He gives credit to his family as his biggest influence. He stated, “My family, especially my parents, were there for me, to support me with every decision I made for my education. They always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. They always helped me with whatever I needed so that I could be the best that I could be.”
Morales will graduate from Northeast on May 17 with an associate in applied science degree. “After having more work experience and being more financially stable, I plan to pursue a mechanical engineer degree,” he stated. “It will be easier for me to get a job because I already have some experience in the work field. Another thing that will make it easier to get a job is the fact I know how to use SolidWorks, a plasma cutter, and a press break. Knowing how to do different tasks will help me get better pay. At the end I will have a better living and will also be able to provide a better living for my family.”
Morales has just recently committed to a full time position at RCS. “We hope that he is here to work with our next co-op student,” said Smyth.
For more information about the Drafting and Design Technology program at NACC, contact Black at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2286, or by email at email@example.com.