Loyalty, expertise and ingenuity: These are just a few of the qualities that set apart workers in North Carolina's Eastern Region. Along with a deep pool of skilled labor, the region offers a wide range of programs and initiatives to prepare both adults and students for the next generation of top jobs, says Kathy Howard, Vice President of Workforce and Client Development for North Carolina’s Eastern Region. To build an attractive workforce for industries, NCER partners with several organizations, including workforce development boards, high-school leaders, chambers of commerce, economic developers and the region's 11 community colleges.
“The Eastern Region was the first in North Carolina to create a regional WorkKeys initiative through ASPIRE (Assessing Skills for Performance in a Rebounding Economy), an alliance of 11 community colleges serving all 13 counties," Howard says. WorkKeys helps employers identify aptitude and measure real-world skills among potential employees through Career Readiness Certificates.
Plenty of Positives
Other workforce training resources in the Eastern Region include the Institute of Aeronautical Technology, Lenoir Community College Advanced Machining Center, North Carolina State Industrial Extension Service, East Carolina University Industrial Engineering & Technology and East Carolina University Industrial Distribution and Logistics. Plus, five of the region's community colleges provide advanced CNC machining associate degrees. Many workers already possess plenty of on-the-job knowledge, thanks to the large number of advanced manufacturing companies in the region, including aerospace leaders such as Spirit AeroSystems, Honeywell and Kidde Aerospace; top engine manufacturers like Cummins and engine component manufacturers like Stanadyne; and household goods giants such as Bosch, Electrolux and Moen.
“Workers here are known for their work ethic, loyalty, training and education, which includes the transitioning personnel from regional military installations such as Camp Lejeune, MCAS Cherry Point and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base,” she says. “Companies hiring from the local military pool include Oshkosh, which does maintenance, repair and overhaul work for military vehicles in Jacksonville.”