Governor Cooper talks workforce preparation at PCC

PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) Governor Roy Cooper visited Pitt Community College Tuesday as part of a tour to promote and discuss the importance of education in filling in-demand jobs and keeping North Carolina competitive in the global workforce.

Cooper focused specifically on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, advocating for increased funding for education to help fill what he say's will be the in-demand jobs of the future.

Cooper says, "As innovation continues to move forward we have to constantly be re-training ourselves and re-training the workforce."

Participating in a roundtable with a local employer, students and various workforce development leaders, Cooper talked about the emerging workforce that will be needed to fill the jobs of tomorrow and about the work that needs to be done today to fill those vacancies.

He says, "This is a funding issue and I've said it time and time again, that as we put together our budget for the state, education has to be the priority, and if it's not we're going to find ourselves behind."

And while it's not quite clear what exactly those jobs of the future will require, the governor credited schools like PCC with developing the critical skills it will take to be prepared for them.

Cameron Peaden, PCC Student Ambassador says, "I mean obviously for a job that doesn't exist, we have to think critically, and analyze things and get along well with others and have this, almost, team binding effect."

Governor Cooper also talked about the important link community colleges share with non-profits and even local businesses, working with them to provide updates to equipment and facilities to help stay current on training students for those future jobs.