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ECWDB Closes the Skills Gap

Jun, 15th, 2022
Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board Closes the Skills Gap with
OurFutureENC – Educate, Equip, Excel. It’s up to us!

Committed to providing skilled job seekers to fulfill the requirement of today’s business.

New Bern, NC, June 13, 2022 - Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board (ECWDB) announces the OurFutureENC educational collaborative. Statistics reveal a skills gap in North Carolina, with *67% of jobs requiring high-quality credentials or postsecondary degrees. As our economy grows, many new jobs require education beyond a high school diploma—but fewer than half of North Carolinians ages 25-44 have high-quality credentials or post-secondary degrees. This problem is further exacerbated by the projected growth in North Carolina occupations requiring these attainments, which is expected to outpace growth in occupations requiring only a High School degree by two times between 2018 and 2028. Broadening this predicament is that since 2016 college enrollments and the availability of skilled workers within the labor market have seen a striking decline.

ECWDB, along with community partners in local community colleges and school systems form OurFutureENC educational collaborative. The mission of OurFutureENC is to close the attainable skills gap, especially for first-generation students and students from low-income backgrounds. OurFutureENC will ensure that students have the information, resources, and opportunities they need to prepare for enrolling and succeeding in college and obtaining credentials aligning with the business needs of today and into the future.

“As the driving force in Eastern North Carolina to provide highly qualified career candidates with a competitive edge, ECWDB along with community partners will advance the connection between helping job seekers to acquire the skills that are necessary for employment in our current economic growth and is the goal of the OurFutureENC initiative,” states Tammy Childers, Executive Director, Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board.

OurFutureENC’s commitment is to increase the educational attainment level by 3% in the Eastern Carolina nine-county region contributing to the state of North Carolina’s 2030 goal of 2 million. Our vision for Eastern North Carolina is a qualified workforce that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion and excels in competitive career pathways ensuring that our local businesses are equipped with the talent they need to thrive in an evolving global economy. ECWDB along with NCWorks Career Centers’ local workforce partners will champion this vision through a collaborative, customer-focused approach that embraces lifelong learning, facilitates partnerships, and aligns education and workforce requirements to economic needs. The delivery of this initiative is as follows:

·         Academic readiness. Building the foundation Pre-K to 12; high-quality early learning helps prepare children for future success including qualifying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

·         College and career access. Helping students navigate the transition to postsecondary education by finding ways to gain college-level course work and assisting them in applying for financial assistance.

·         Labor market analysis. Providing alignment between the skills of college graduates and the needs of Eastern North Carolina employers.

There are fifteen (15) collaboratives throughout the state of North Carolina, ECWDB is the largest with nine (9) eastern North Carolina counties facilitating OurFutureENC.  For more information about this collaborative visit myFutureNC website Local Collaboratives - myFutureNC.

Background Information

*Statistics Cited                  

·         31 out of 100 students get a degree or credentials

·         13 out of 100 students don’t complete high school

·         29 out of 100 students graduate but don’t transition to postsecondary programs within 12 months

·         49% of North Carolinians (Adults 24-44) have completed high-level credentials or postsecondary level of education.

·         Half of North Carolina employers need more hire-able workers, citing a lack of skills & overall education

*Statistics Source: myFutureNC

Media Contact: David Jones, jones@ecwdb.org

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