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Community Highlights

Community Investment Council Explores Greensboro

Eric Craven, MSI Apprenticeship Coordinator and apprentice Christian explaining machinery functionality.

On November 13, the Community Investment Council (CIC) headed into the Greensboro community to explore the Triad region’s workforce innovations. Members received an in-depth look at how communities better prepare students for success through apprenticeships, both youth and adult, while ensuring area businesses benefit from a skilled workforce.

Eric Craven, MSI Apprenticeship Coordinator and apprentice Christian showing CIC around MSI.

The morning commenced at Machine Specialties Inc. where the group learned of Guilford Apprenticeship Partners’ pathways to success from 3 of its 30 member companies. During a panel discussion, MSI, High Point Tire & Automotive and AC Corporation expounded on how they work collaboratively with Guilford County Schools and Guilford Technical Community College to attract, develop and retain skilled talent. GAP’s successes and investment in workforce has spurred job growth and was a consistent theme among those present. The panel offered perspectives from employers as well as apprentices, with a MSI apprentice speaking of merging theoretical understanding with practical experience and its foundation setting for his engineering degree attainment post apprenticeship.

Triad employers understand workers need real opportunities for reinvention. That schools at every level must get better at delivering education and training in ways that work best for students and that industry must work with employees to create those opportunities which increase access to employment and pipelines to success. Improved educational outcomes and career path promotion are essential for true health, wealth, and well-being for individuals and families.

The Community Investment Council and Richmond Fed headed into the Greensboro Community.

CIC’s tour concluded at the Forge Greensboro, a recent USBA MaTCH (Makerspace, Training, Collaboration, and Hiring) Pilot Competition award recipient and Triad makerspace. It is a community where people gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, tools and knowledge. While there the council heard of the Forge’s community impact, its partnerships with GTCC and American Association of University Women (AAUW), and a testimony from adult apprentice and nontraditional student Adelana Nelson, who shared her remarkable story “from homelessness to graduation” with members to round out day. She told of how engagement with the Forge Greensboro helped connect her with GTCC where she will complete her associate degree as an American Association of University Women (AAUW) scholar.

“The Community Investment Council was thrilled to journey into the field and learn ‘in practice’ how best solutions are being applied,” said CIC incoming Chair Rochelle “Rocky” Goodwin. “Members from across the district know they struggle with some of the same challenges, but when we can change those challenges into opportunities and learn from one another, it helps smooth the path forward for a more robust economy, healthier families and communities, and making sure the employers and talent pipelines are benefitting from the solutions. We truly appreciated the chance to learn and enjoyed our experience.”

Strengthening Tomorrow's Workforce

According to Carolina Population Center, 1.3 million “prime working age” adults have a high school diploma or less, with My Future NC Commission estimating two-thirds of jobs created in North Carolina by 2030 will require some education beyond high school. As a timely response, Guilford Apprenticeship Partners was formed to strengthen the career pipeline for local industry and create mobility opportunities for the approaching workforce.

For more information, you may follow the day’s tweets on @richfedcomdev and @richmondfed.

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