Tuesday 22 Jan 2019


Governor Roy Cooper Visits Wayne Community College

Governor Roy Cooper was on the road Wednesday, making two stops in Wayne County and one stop in Lenoir County.

The tour was part of the governor’s campaign for NC GROW, Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce. NC GROW is a scholarship to help make North Carolina a Top 10 Educated state by 2025. Starting next year, good students who graduated high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher would get free tuition to any NC community college through the NC GROW scholarship. NC GROW would cover last-dollar tuition and fees for students who have used up other financial aid options.

“In my talks with business owners, I hear time and again that they have job openings but can’t find workers with the skills necessary to fill them,” said Governor Cooper. “Making community college more accessible means more of our high school graduates can learn the skills they need to get good paying jobs.”

His first stop in Wayne County was at Wayne Community College. During his visit at the college, Cooper spoke with college officials including the top administrators and trustees Wayne Aycock and Chair Veda McNair. The governor visited with employers in the college’s 25th Annual Job Fair, toured the mechatronics and computer-integrated maching labs, posed for countless photos with students, and spent some time talking with the press.

Points made by college officials included the cost of providing the state-of-the-art equipment needed to train students to be the workforce industry seeks, as well as paying highly qualified instructors. Dr. Walker noted that cost is a persistent impediment to students.

“What you are doing now is more critical than ever,” Cooper told college officials. “Now is the time to invest in education…At the end of day, I want North Carolina’s population better educated, healthier, and with more money in their pockets,” Cooper said.

While a student and Dr. White look on, Paul Compton, chair of the Industrial Technologies Department, and Gov. Cooper admire some pieces created in the Computer-Integrated Machining program. Gov. Cooper was presented a business card holder a student in the program had manufactured.

Gov. Cooper, Trustees Chair Veda McNair, Trustee Wayne Aycock, and Dr. White surrounded by the Festo Mechatronics System.

Dr. Walker and Gov. Cooper addressed the media and the governor took questions.

Gov. Cooper talks with College President Thomas A. Walker Jr. and Trustee Wayne Aycock about the importance of a trained workforce to growing the state’s economy.

Dr. Ernie White, dean of the Applied Technologies Division, points out features of the Festo Mechatronics System on which student learn about automated equipment and systems.


  1. O lawd says:

    This sounds like a great idea! Good job cooper. But where is this money going to come from?

    • tashagloom says:

      nc-grow- to earn it students must get good grades and apply for *pre-existing scholarships, loans , or grants.its program supported by both parties in other states. NC could use all the help it can in cultivating the smart stdents THAT WANT TO do well. stop complaining that a tax dollar might be spent to actually help a local person. you need to be questioning why a certain party wants to throw old people and children to the wolves while lining the pockets of billionaires. oh yeah, one of those billionaires is about to take over ur school system. you’ll be lucky to have school buses or a single piece of chalk before she’s thru.


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