State News

Perdue launches job-training initiative to get people working

Posted April 16, 2009 4:02 a.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2009 3:30 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Beverly Perdue said Thursday that federal recovery funds will help community colleges in North Carolina quickly train people in a dozen high-demand fields.

Perdue announced the "12 in 6" initiative, saying that $13.4 million will help create community college programs in 12 careers, with each program requiring less than six months to complete.

“Jobs now in North Carolina – that’s the goal," Perdue said at the children's emergency department at WakeMed, one of the largest health-care employers in eastern North Carolina. Three of the programs are assistant nursing, phlebotomy and medical coding.

Other programs, selected based on current or anticipated market demand, include office/clerical support, masonry/tile cutting, plumbing, carpentry, welding, food service, auto body repair, manufacturing/materials and HVAC/industrial maintenance.

The state community college board is expected to approve the plan Friday. Programs would be in place at all 58 campuses by the end of September, and unemployment offices will help find students.

The state unemployment rate hit 10.7 percent in February, one of the highest in the country.

"We know that people who have lost their jobs need to get back in the workforce as quickly as possible," Perdue said. "This rapid training initiative provides them with a clear path to success in new, sustainable careers."

The "12 in 6" program is part of her larger "Jobs NOW" initiative, which is designed to train students at community college campuses and through vocational education for high-growth careers.