State of the State: North Carolina leaders emphasize community colleges as workforce solution
North Carolina community colleges were central in state leaders’ addresses Monday night as both top executives pointed to community colleges as the answer to the need for more highly skilled workers during the State of the State address and response.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson spoke to the career pathways and talent pipelines for residents and businesses through North Carolina community colleges. The remarks were a continuation of General Assembly leadership messaging.
Community college programs were woven throughout the remarks, which included high-demand skilled trades programs, apprenticeships, law enforcement and first responders, health care and emerging technologies.
“The education pipeline continues with our community colleges and universities that are central to the educated workforce of the future. In every corner of our state, community colleges are coordinating directly with local industry and workforce development boards,” Gov. Cooper said. “They’re creating hands-on training programs that help their graduates cross the stage with a degree or credential and a job offer in hand. I’ve worked with you legislators in a bipartisan way to make sure people can get this training through Longleaf Commitment grants, Finish Line grants and other community college funding. Let’s keep at it.”
In his response, Lt. Gov. Robinson pointed to the well-paying career opportunities for residents in skilled trades, apprenticeships, and other fast-tracked career programs in high-demand industries.
“Electricians, plumbers, masons, welders, mechanics, and other skilled trade workers earn incredible starting salaries. Many in those professions are aging out, leaving crucial shortages across our state. As our state grows and industries move here, skilled labor and high-tech manufacturing jobs will continue be in demand,” Robinson said.
The addresses echoed remarks issued by General Assembly leadership on the legislature’s opening day of session in January.
“We must provide (North Carolinians) with the tools needed to determine their future — from a world-class education to finding a good-paying job in a career of their choice, or to the freedom and opportunity to open their own business.”
Learn more about the North Carolina Community College System at www.nccommunitycolleges.edu.