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ECC Hosts Workforce Learning Summit

Edgecombe Community College hosted representatives from the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), four community colleges, local industry, and legislative leaders recently for an Align4NCWorks Learning Summit.

North Carolina community colleges are the primary lead agency for delivering workforce development training in the state, but workforce development efforts involve many partners, including local industry, county commissioners, economic developers, and workforce board leaders.

Align4NC Works is an NCCCS strategic planning initiative that brings all of these players to the table to talk about best practices and major barriers to workforce development.

“Workforce is a major factor in the location, retention, and global competitiveness of businesses in 2014,” says Dr. Scott Ralls, president of the NCCCS. “We are here to learn from you. We want to learn about your innovations and challenges.”

The May 9 summit at ECC included Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, and Wilson community colleges. Each college presented one best practice that included a workforce partner.

Mark Faithful, dean of Corporate and Community Development at ECC, discussed pathways to employment developed through collaboration between Keihin Carolina Technology Systems, SouthWest Edgecombe High School, Edgecombe Community College, and East Carolina University.

Through the various pathways, KCST hopes to create a pool of future employees by developing interest in manufacturing careers among high school students and then continuing that relationship at Edgecombe Community College and East Carolina University. Through an apprenticeship developed at SouthWest Edgecombe High School, work co-ops with ECC, and an internship program with ECU, the company is developing its own “homegrown” future workforce.

The Align4NCWorks Learning Summits began in February and will continue through October at various community colleges across the state.