As the growing skills gap continues to stifle North Carolina job creators, it’s more important now than ever before that our business community takes initiative to improve education and workforce development across the state. In order to close the gap long-term and fill our talent pipeline, we must align the needs of North Carolina businesses with the goals of the state’s education systems. Our business community is uniquely positioned to help North Carolina produce a globally competitive workforce but doing so requires job creators to provide students with the opportunities needed to thrive in the modern global economy.
Duke Energy is one North Carolina business keenly focused on creating those opportunities at every level, from supporting early childhood literacy to investing in higher education to growing employment assistance programs. This commitment was made clear by Duke Energy’s recently announced $2.7 million investment to strengthen education and workforce development across North Carolina. In grants to more than 70 organizations, Duke Energy’s investment will support high-impact programs and initiatives boosting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), childhood reading proficiency and workforce development. Some of the organizations receiving grants include Enable America VetConnect, Winston Salem Foundation – Project Impact, NC Agricultural and Technical State University and Read and Feed. North Carolina A&T College of Engineering Dean Robin Coger expressed just how valuable this investment is to students and the state, “Duke Energy’s support of the HOME Program enables us to attract, retain and educate more high-achieving students in Engineering and Computer Science and to develop the engineering leaders of tomorrow. We’re very grateful to have Duke Energy as a partner in this work, which is not only important for our students, but critical for the future of our state and nation.”
It is this type of commitment that will help secure North Carolina’s position as a top-ten state for workforce readiness. Harnessing the collective power of our unified business community to provide students with 21st-century career-training opportunities will transform the state of North Carolina’s workforce in our modern globalized landscape. To join the conversation and learn more about what must be done to ensure North Carolina students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, please register to attend our 2017 Conference on Education. During this informative conference, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings, while also tackling the importance of third-grade reading proficiency, building a talent pipeline, closing the skills gap and more. North Carolina cannot continue to compete without a workforce comprised of top talent ready and able to meet the needs of the future. Please join us in our work to advance education and workforce development.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber