PCC Part of Pilot Focused on Training Adult Students

PCC administrators and local leaders met with representatives from the John M. Belk Endowment and myFutureNC in April to discuss the launch of a new pilot project focused on adult learners. From left to right are: PCC Trustees Chairman Gary Evans, myFutureNC President and CEO Cecilia Holden, Audrey Jaeger, Executive Director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, MC Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment, PCC President Lawrence Rouse and Mike Krause, a higher education consultant with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College President Lawrence Rouse called on adults throughout the region today to visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com as a first step toward gaining the skills they need to secure the jobs they want.

“After a year filled with unprecedented challenges, many adults are realizing that the time is now to skill up, retool and retrain — either to advance in their current careers or to change careers entirely,” Rouse said. “PCC is making an extra push this summer to reach out to as many of these individuals as possible to let them know about the variety of fast, flexible, and affordable programs we offer.”

Rouse noted that many of Pitt’s programs, including business, computers, biotechnology, and health sciences, provide skills sought by the region’s top employers.

“That’s why we’re hoping everyone will visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com today,” he said. “We want them to quickly connect with PCC and explore the opportunities we have to offer that can lead to better skills, better jobs, bigger paychecks, and even brighter futures.”

As a leader in workforce development in eastern North Carolina, PCC offers degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 60 job-ready programs to help individuals advance professionally.

The “Better Skills, Better Jobs” campaign announced today is part of a pilot project launched earlier this year to encourage adults to return to college to complete training they started but didn’t finish or to acquire skills in a new area of interest that will lead to more gainful employment. In addition to PCC, the initiative involves four other North Carolina community colleges working in partnership with key funders that include the John M. Belk Endowment and myFutureNC.

“The John M. Belk Endowment is pleased to partner with Pitt Community College and four other outstanding community colleges to catalyze and supercharge their efforts to recruit and support adult students,” said MC Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair of the John M. Belk Endowment. “As the pandemic recedes, we know that many North Carolinians are looking for a fresh start, and we believe our community colleges are a great place for their journey to begin.

“In a matter of months on a community college campus, adult learners can acquire skills and credentials that can change their families’ economic trajectory,” she continued. “Our goal is for all residents of our state to have access to an education that will lead to skills, credentials, and degrees, and ultimately the opportunities to achieve their dreams.”

Cecilia Holden, President, and CEO of myFutureNC, says the nonprofit organization she leads is committed to ensuring two million North Carolinians between the ages of 25 and 44 years old have a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030. She noted that while the vast majority of today’s higher-wage jobs require more than a high school diploma, fewer than half of North Carolinians in the 25-44 age group meet that threshold.

“We know better skills lead to better jobs and to a stronger and more economically vibrant North Carolina,” Holden says. “We are very pleased to be partnering on this important new initiative.”

The John M. Belk Endowment is a private family foundation committed to transforming postsecondary educational opportunities to meet North Carolina’s evolving workforce needs. Its mission is aligned with the vision of its founder, the late John M. Belk, who served four terms as mayor of Charlotte and was CEO of the department store company Belk, Inc.

Now led by Pilon, who is Belk’s daughter, the John M. Belk Endowment continues to partner with innovative, results-oriented programs in North Carolina to further its founder’s values, legacy, and focus on the value of education as a means to personal fulfillment and community vitality. For more information, visit jmbendowment.org.

A statewide nonprofit, myFutureNC is focused on educational attainment necessary for a stronger, more competitive North Carolina. The organization features some of North Carolina’s most influential education, business, and civic leaders working across sectors and in communities throughout the state to close gaps in the education pathway, promote alignment between educational programming and business/industry needs, and, ultimately, to improve educational opportunities for all North Carolinians. For more information, visit myfuturenc.org.

For more information on PCC’s “Better Skills, Better Jobs” initiative, visit BetterSkillsBetterJobs.com/pcc/.