Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker kicked off the statewide 1000 in 100 workforce development initiative with a listening tour in which they visited employers in different cities.
The initiative, announced as a part of the new NCWorks program, called for local workforce development teams across the state to visit 1,000 businesses throughout the state’s 100 counties during the last 100 days of this year to seek input from employers about their workforce needs.
NCWorks itself was launched earlier this year as a program that consolidates all of North Carolina’s workforce development efforts under one roof.
The 1000 in 100 initiative started off in Cary, NC with Gov. McCrory and Secretary Decker visiting DB Global Technology Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. DB Global Technology expanded its software development center in Wake County last year and announced plans to add 431 new jobs.
Company officials talked to the Governor and Sec. Decker and outlined their concerns about finding, hiring and retaining skilled workers.
State officials, accompanied by North Carolina Community College System President Scott Ralls, continued the listening tour to Charlotte to speak with company executives from Cummins/Atlantic, Novant Healthcare and HAWEUSA.
After that, the tour continued to Greensboro, where they spoke with executives from Epes Transportation, the state’s largest privately-owned transportation firm. Epes already works closely with Guilford Technical Community College for finding and hiring employees.
Epes also has an apprenticeship program for veterans taking truck driving training through a special arrangement with Fayetteville Technical Community College that conveniently allows the training to be completed at Fort Bragg.
Individual counties and local governments across North Carolina are arranging their own listening tours as part of the 1000 in 100 initiative. For example, teams of workforce development partners from Brunswick County will be visiting local businesses starting Oct 1.
The Brunswick County effort is being co-chaired by Cape Fear Workforce Development Director Margie Parker and by Velva Jenkins, vice president of Continuing Education, Economic and Workforce Development at Brunswick Community College.
The team undertaking the effort includes representatives from the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission, three local chambers, and the Small Business Center, among others.
Similarly, Town of Harrisburg Economic Development Director Anna Lu Wilson is coordinating the 1000 in 100 outreach efforts to contact businesses in Harrisburg.
The information gathered from all such efforts across the state will be combined with other research to develop recommendations for changes to improve North Carolina’s workforce development system.