‘Better Skills, Better Jobs Fair’ Returns to Convention Center Oct. 5

A student speaks with a representative from an area employer during the 2022 Better Skills, Better Jobs Fair.

GREENVILLE—For the third year in a row, one of eastern North Carolina’s most comprehensive job fairs will give adult jobseekers and Pitt County high school students an opportunity to explore the region’s workforce development needs.

On Oct. 5, the “Better Skills, Better Jobs Fair” returns to the Greenville Convention Center. It will feature more than 100 area businesses and industries joining representatives from community and educational resources to discuss well-paying jobs and training opportunities available locally to get them.

Pitt Community College (PCC) is once again sponsoring the fair in partnership with the John M. Belk Endowment, Greenville ENC Alliance, Pitt County Economic Development, Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, Inner Banks Media and Koinonia Community Solutions. PCC President Lawrence Rouse says the event has been an effective means of building awareness of local workforce development needs and services available to prepare individuals for the workplace.

“Pitt Community College is committed to educational equity and carrying people as far as they can go through higher education,” Rouse said. “Our programs and services are inspiring hope in people wanting to better their life’s circumstances and teaching them skills needed to secure rewarding, well-paying careers.”

This year’s fair runs from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event opens with a breakfast program for employers and vendors, featuring Dr. Angie Jenkins as keynote speaker. Jenkins is myFutureNC’s regional impact manager for North Carolina’s northeast region and will speak to attendees about the impact they have in developing the state’s current and future talent pipelines.

“I believe now more than ever the power of creating a robust pipeline for North Carolina’s talent lies in the power of the collective,” Jenkins says. “With each of us embracing the opportunity for everyone to contribute to our communities, we can transform the educational and workforce ecosystem.”

Following Jenkins’ presentation will be a two-hour period reserved for students from public and private Pitt County high schools. Along with job information, they’ll learn about working toward a college degree while they are still in high school, through programs like Career & College Promise and the PCC-Pitt County Schools Technical Academy.

The period between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. is for adult jobseekers. They’ll be able to discuss job openings and services with representatives from companies and community partners, including Pitt County Schools, East Carolina University’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education, Greenville Utilities, Tradesformers, North Carolina Coastal Society for Human Resource Management, NCWorks, ECU Health and NCEast Alliance.

“In each of the two years it’s been held, the ‘Better Skills, Better Jobs Fair’ has connected hundreds of jobseekers and prospective students with the businesses and industries that need them and the educational institutions and community resources ready to prepare them for the workplace,” Rouse said. “It’s also been an effective means of making those already employed understand how additional education can help them advance within their current fields of employment or prepare for entirely new careers.”

For Pitt County Economic Development and Greenville ENC Alliance, workforce development and job training initiatives that strengthen the local talent pipeline are priorities for economic development recruitment and retention efforts.

“For Pitt County to grow and thrive, we need jobseekers with diverse backgrounds and skillsets to connect with our local companies. If there are training needs, those resources will be on hand as well,” said Kelly Andrews, executive director of Pitt County Economic Development. “This event is all about making those essential connections, and we aim to enhance the opportunities to do so each year.”

Last year, more than 800 jobseekers and high school students met face-to-face with employers to learn about careers in a variety of fields and industries. Most of those companies offer well-paying jobs, health benefits, and paid time off.

“What makes this event so powerful is the unique bridge it offers between career pathways and career opportunities,” said David Horn, director of strategic partnerships for Greenville ENC Alliance and “Better Skills, Better Jobs Fair” co-chair. “It brings the region’s top employers, plus the education and workforce resources, to one location, so those looking to advance or change their career can do that right now.”

Adult jobseekers are invited to pre-register for the fair. They can also sign up for the afternoon session on-site, and because some companies will conduct job interviews during the fair, everyone planning to attend is encouraged to bring an updated resume to the event.