Top Banner
For Immediate Release


Grainger Foundation Gift Funds $200,000 Teaching Robot

The college’s recent acquisition of a FANUC Robotics America Inc. Certified Education Robot Training Program was made possible in large part by a gift to the CVCC Foundation, Inc., from The Grainger Foundation.

Valued at more than $200,000 the FANUC Robotics CERT Mobile Training Unit is a compact, portable, self-contained robotics educational laboratory that allows students to learn how to program a real robot, in real time, in a safe and controlled environment. It also includes a camera and vision system.

More and more advanced manufacturing relies on sophisticated robotic production equipment to reduce costs, improve quality, maximize productivity and increase competitive position in the global market. Industry experts agree there aren’t enough trained people to fill today’s high-technology jobs, let alone those in the future. CVCC is implementing a robotics training program to help bridge this skills gap.

“Grainger has a strong commitment to technical education across the country,” said Casey Whitesides, manager of Grainger’s Hickory branch, who presented the gift.  “We are proud to support the CVCC Foundation so it can help the college build a skilled local workforce.”

“Through private gifts like this, the college is able to leverage its state and local funding to meet the training needs of our local workforce,” said Teresa Biggs, executive director of the CVCC Foundation, Inc.

Acquisition of the robot marks the beginning of a strategic plan to add a mechatronics program within the next year, said John Enamait, dean of the School of Business, Industry & Technology. “We will start by offering mechatronics in continuing education and expand later into a full associate degree in mechatronics.”

Illinois-based W.W. Grainger, Inc. is the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Panama.  The Grainger branch in Hickory located on 11th Street NW has been serving the local community for 20 years and is committed to helping the communities in which its employees and customers live and work. Grainger has been serving North Carolina businesses for more than 60 years, providing supplies and equipment needed to keep their facilities running.  The company has 11 locations across the state, including its Hickory location.  For more information about Grainger’s support of local communities across the country, please visit

The CVCC Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation with the mission to foster and promote the growth, progress, and general welfare of CVCC.  For more information on making a tax-deductible gift to the college, contact Teresa W. Biggs, CVCC Foundation executive director at 828-327-7000, ext. 4288, or email  

2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 10.30.2008: Administrator