Officials combing NC to determine skills businesses need from workers

Posted September 25, 2014 12:41 p.m. EDT
Updated September 25, 2014 4:33 p.m. EDT

— Workforce development officials plan to visit 1,000 companies across North Carolina in the next 100 days to determine which skills employers need from their workers so the state's educational system can be adjusted to provide students with those skills.

The "1000 in 100" initiative is part of the new NCWorks program that essentially put all of the state’s workforce development efforts under one roof.

During one of those stops, at DB Global in Cary, Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that businesses have complained to his administration that they have trouble finding qualified workers. At the same time, he said, the state unemployment rate has edged up in recent months.

"We need to adapt our education curriculum to what commerce needs and where people can get jobs at this time," McCrory said. "If you're graduating from our two-year or four-year colleges and you have a skill which no one wants, all you're left with is student debt and a job that's not going to pay off your student debt."

DB Global, a software company that works with financial giant Deutsche Bank, worked with Wake Technical Community College to provide prospective workers training in the computer software programming language Java, as well as leadership classes.

"We need to actually adjust where our educational dollars are being spent and target it to those areas that get the best return on investment – again, in those areas where you can get jobs and have a great career and have an opportunity to make a great living," McCrory said.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and North Carolina Community College System President Scott Ralls also planned to join the governor Thursday on visits with Epes Transportation in Greensboro and Cummins/Atlantic, HAWEUSA and Novant Healthcare in Charlotte.