PCC Receives Grant Funding to Lead Building Careers Alignment Project

A welder works on the framework of PCC's Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement in 2022.

WINTERVILLE—The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges has approved Pitt Community College’s Building Careers Alignment Project as well as funding for its implementation.

According to the college’s Grants Management Office, PCC has been tasked with leading a statewide effort to ensure construction education offered by North Carolina community colleges corresponds with industry-recognized credentials and workforce demands. Pitt was awarded a $60,000-grant to get the project off and running, with funding coming through the State Fiscal Recovery Fund.

Patrick Jacques, dean of PCC’s Construction and Industrial Technology (CIT) Division, will serve as director of the Building Careers Alignment Project (BCAP). He says the initiative will involve community colleges working together with industry partners and the State Board of Education to update and align CIT credit courses and short-term workforce development classes at North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.

“We are thrilled Pitt Community College has been selected as lead college for the Building Careers Alignment Project,” Jacques said. “PCC is well-known for its excellence in CIT programming and fostering partnerships with local employers to create valuable work-based learning opportunities. We pride ourselves on producing skilled graduates who meet industry demands.”

Jacques says BCAP presents North Carolina community colleges an excellent opportunity to enhance faculty training and develop programs that prepare students for successful construction careers.

“The project’s primary objective is to enhance the quality and relevance of CIT courses offered, allowing students to acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills that meet the evolving needs of today’s construction industry employers,” he said. “This includes developing crosswalks between short-term, continuing education programs and curriculum programs, which will allow students to transfer the credits they earn.”

As the project’s lead college, Jacques says PCC will organize community college personnel from throughout the state into faculty groups that study and improve how CIT course content currently aligns with industry-recognized credentials. He says the grant funding Pitt was awarded this month runs through December 2024 and will be used to support activities that bring the faculty groups together for collaboration and sharing of best practices.