New initiative aims to grow talent pipeline in central North Carolina

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Dozens of education and workforce development leaders came together Thursday at Central Carolina Community College to officially launch AdvanceNC.

The goal is to develop a talent pipeline to support ‘unprecedented economic growth in central North Carolina.

“With the types of growth that have been coming, we need to be much more intentional about how we pull our resources together,” Central Carolina Community College president Lisa Chapman told WRAL News.

AdvanceNC is a new coalition meant to develop talent and connect them with strong employers. With the combined power of 18 colleges, universities and workforce boards, it covers a labor force of 1.5 million, according to Chapman.

“North Carolina has all the right ingredients to support workforce,” she said.

This comes at time when large companies like VinFast have moved into that region of the state.

“The very idea that a rural state full of tobacco farms and textile mills becoming an advanced manufacturing powerhouse … Well, that would’ve seemed far-fetched,” said Peter Hans, the president of the University of North Carolina System. “Few states in the nation has seen the kind of growth and transformation North Carolina has experienced just in my lifetime.”

That momentum has brought to light to importance of working together and looking at the labor market with a wider lens, said Rodney Carson, the president of the North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards.

“We have to look at workforce, not from a localized perspective, but from a regional perspective,” he said. “An employer in one area that’s doing manufacturing is not necessarily the needs of a manufacturer in another area. But there’s a core set of skills that crosses into those particular industries.”

The partnership includes Alamance Community, Central Carolina, Durham Tech, Fayetteville Tech, Johnston, Piedmont, Randolph, Sandhills, Vance-Granville, and Wake Tech colleges, NC Agricultural and Technical State University, NC State University and Capital Area, Durham, Kerr-Tar, Lumber River, Mid-Carolina and Piedmont Triad Regional workforce development boards.

Original Article Source: WRAL