Charlotte, NC Workforce Programs Boost Small Business

A small Monroe, NC company gets a competitive boost from a workforce development board.

Bea Quirk
On Friday, August 24, 2012 - 05:35

Monroe, N.C., entrepreneur Phuong Nguyen knows the value of building solid partnerships to remain competitive. By joining forces with the Centralina Workforce Development Board, he has been able to expand his business much more rapidly than he thought possible.

With the board's help, Nguyen’s company, Quality Electronic Manufacturing Services, has received certifications that have made the firm more competitive and his workers better trained. QEMS is a contract manufacturer of printed circuit boards. It recently received ISO 9001 certification, which demonstrates solid company management practices and qualifies QEMS to bid for contracts with a larger number of companies. Many QEMS workers have also successfully completed training as inspection and rework specialists for electronic assemblies and circuit boards. The training was made possible through a $21,000 grant awarded by the Centralina Workforce Development Board.

The ISO 9001 certification was also coordinated through the assistance of Centralina and North Carolina State University.

Training, Certification Boosts Revenue, Keep Jobs

"Without certified employees, QEMS would have faced losing contracts and employee layoffs," says Nguyen, who has 64 employees. “As a result of our certification and training, we will be able to increase our business 10 percent to 20 percent annually.”

Nguyen, a Vietnam native, started his business in 2002 after a 20-year career with Siemens in Charlotte. He hopes that these important steps for his company will lead to more contracts with defense and health- and safety-related companies. David Hollars, executive director of Centralina, said QEMS was chosen for the grant based on the overall impact the training would have.

“In this case, the company will not only retain jobs and employees, but increase its competitiveness. That benefits the economy of these local communities and of the entire region," Hollars says.