Gov. Cooper tours PCC, talks job readiness

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper was in the East Tuesday to tour Pitt Community College and talk about getting the state more job ready.

While there, Gov. Cooper met with students and staff during a roundtable discussion to talk about what’s going right at PCC and where the state could improve.

“The jobs are there, we just need to make sure the workforce is prepared,” Cooper said.

Gov. Cooper laid out his plan to get the state more job ready, including access to affordable education, introducing students as early as middle school to possible careers, thinking outside of the box, and getting industries involved in the education process.

“By the year 2030, 85 percent of the jobs existing then have not been invented yet,” Cooper said about the challenges of training today’s workforce.

Cooper once again pledged his support to make community college free.

“If you combine help from the state with federal grants that are already out there, then we can provide low cost, affordable community college education for everyone,” he said.

Following the roundtable, Gov. Cooper got a tour of some of what PCC had to offer students. PCC student and ambassador Anna Craft was one of those leading the tour. She said PCC prepares students well.

“You’re working on communication skills, you’re working on interview skills, and those are skills you have to have to enter the workforce,” Craft said.

Employers were also on hand to discuss their role in helping place students into jobs. Emerson Hobgood of Mestek in Farmville spoke about the importance of offering internships.

“We have actually found some skill and talented young people who have come to work for us,” Hobgood said.

At PCC’s upcoming April job fair, 70% of employers will be from the construction industrial technology division. Officials say that sector has a lot of positions available for properly skilled individuals.

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