Expansion and New Location Challenges
The world is not the same. The challenges we faced in 2010 are very different from those today. Workforce is the #1 issue across industry sectors in North America. We have already shifted the conversation from available “skilled” workers to “motivated” workers. Education must “re-educate” parents on the value of trade and technology careers in an advanced manufacturing environment after years of focusing on success being measured by a college degree. Children need to know they can be superstars in education when choosing the technical/technology career path that will utilize their leanings immediately upon beginning a career. New programs in education, workforce preparedness, development and training are being implemented across the country to provide a sustained workforce and differentiate regions and states – raising the bar in competing for high-value, high-growth companies. Davidson County must be on the leading edge of advanced manufacturing education innovation to equip our people for sustained, high wage careers today and the future.
How could a non-college track be made more attractive?
It could receive comparable resources. Schools lavish tens of thousands of public dollars on students who pursue college, while others, trying to find their own footing in life after high school get nothing at all. With financial viability would also come cultural acceptance. The choice would come to seem normal plus employers would know what to expect. Across the other developed economies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, between 40% and 70% of the secondary-school students pursue a vocational track. In Germany, business leaders often begin their careers in apprenticeships”
“Not Everyone Should Go To College” – The Wall Street Journal (May 17, 2018).
Davidson County EDC enjoyed a stellar FY 2017/2018 supporting existing industry and attracting new
companies. Of the projects we developed and worked, over 500 quality jobs will be created or retained and total new capital investment exceeding $375,000,000 will occur in Davidson County.
Of special note, EGGER Wood Products, who is under construction on Phase I(A) of their US Headquarters and manufacturing campus in our I-85 Corporate Center, is a 3-phase commitment that will add an additional $400,000,000 in capital investment in Davidson County and employ up to 370 additional workers at full build-out over the next several years. EGGER also brings a World-Class Apprenticeship Program, partnering with DCCC and our school systems, to educate and train our current and future Technical/Technology high school superstars.
The State of NC developed the STEM School of Distinction program to identify and recognize exemplary STEM schools and STEM programs. Schools recognized under the Model Level of Achievement go even further by systemically interweaving science, technology, engineering and mathematics into complimentary coursework in the arts, career and technical education, English language arts, healthful living and world history. Model level schools also have an established network of community relationships and strategies that foster purposeful connections between student studies and the world outside the classroom, Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy is one of only eight high schools in the state to achieve the Model Level of distinction.