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NC colleges look to expand advanced manufacturing

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's community colleges are working to train factory workers comfortable in a new manufacturing world of computers and robots.

State community college leaders are meeting Friday with manufacturers to assemble training courses in line with a skills certification plan that's recognized by factories across the country. The program mixes advanced manufacturing education and work-site training to turn out workers who can keep North Carolina makers competitive.

North Carolina was one of four states to try integrating the National Association of Manufacturers skills certification system into related community college curricula. The state's community colleges are also focused on developing a series of biotechnology and aviation industry skills certifications.