WINTERVILLE — Pitt Community College recently received $279,300 through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) as part of an effort to help North Carolina recover from the economic turmoil COVID-19 created.

According to PCC Financial Aid Director Lee Bray, the college is using its GEER allotment to provide $750-scholarships to North Carolina residents pursuing high-demand workforce training through continuing education. She said the awards are available to students enrolled in approved Workforce Continuing Education pathways that include at least 96 hours of training and lead to state- or industry-recognized credentials.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for North Carolina residents to receive funded, short-term training programs to get into the workforce,” Bray said. She added that the scholarships could be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare and other components associated with the total cost of attendance.

Funding for GEER comes through the U.S. Department of Education, which provided states with the emergency assistance to help them bolster educational agencies that have a key role in economic recovery. Gov. Roy Cooper allocated the $15 million North Carolina received to the N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) for scholarships that will help the state upskill, reskill and graduate its workforce.

Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic spread nationwide, the Strada Center for Consumer Insights released a survey showing 59 percent of “adults considering enrolling in an education or training program in the next six months prefer non-degree programs.” The State Board of Community Colleges – citing that survey – recommended GEER funding go toward scholarships for continuing education courses, because, unlike traditional credit classes, students cannot apply for federal and state financial aid to pay for them.

CIT division to auction student-built home

A home constructed by PCC Construction and Industrial Technology (CIT) Division students will be sold by public auction Nov. 7 to fund future CIT training.

The single-story structure, which features 1,344 square feet of heated living space, is the latest to have been built through the combined efforts of students from Pitt’s Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration, Architectural, Electrical Systems and Building Construction technology programs. Since 1988, CIT students have built nearly 50 houses to gain knowledge and extensive hands-on experience in the construction trade.

Maurey Verzier, chair of PCC’s Building Construction Technology Department, says the projects expose students to a wide variety of skill sets while training under the supervision of experienced faculty. She said each project takes three semesters to complete.

“The live-build projects play a crucial role in the success of our program,” Verzier says. “They give our students opportunities to develop and fine-tune critical-thinking and problem-solving techniques with their instructors on hand, guiding them through the troubleshooting process. The skills they acquire during these projects serve them well when they become managers and crew leaders in industry.”

The home up for bidding next month has three carpeted bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Its master bedroom features a nine-foot tray ceiling and bathroom with double vanity, vinyl tile floor and fiberglass shower. The exterior is covered by half-inch rigid foam beneath sage green vinyl siding, and the roof includes radiant barrier sheathing and 30-year shingles.

“The highest bidder will be purchasing a quality home that meets current building codes and exceeds Greenville Utilities Commission E300 standards for energy efficiency,” Verzier said.

Some of the home’s other key features are:

  • Front porch with cedar columns
  • Living room and bedrooms with lighted ceiling fans
  • Hall bathroom with single vanity and fiberglass tub/shower combo
  • Kitchen with white shaker-style cabinets, navy shaker-style island, and solid surface quartz countertops that are white with grey veins.
  • Common area with engineered hardwood floor
  • Lighted bedroom closets

PCC CIT Dean Steven Mathews said the auction will take place at the corner of Memorial Drive and Dr. Fulford Road — the site of the home’s construction on campus. It will begin at 10 a.m. with a minimum opening bid.

The winning bidder, Mathews said, must be prepared to make a 10 percent-down payment immediately following the auction and is responsible for having the home moved.

Potential bidders can view the home in person by calling 493-7522 to schedule an appointment. The home will also be open for viewing the day of the auction, starting at 9 a.m.

Manufacturing training offered in November

PCC will offer short-term training next month to prepare students for jobs currently available in advanced manufacturing.

Scheduled to run Nov. 5-20, the Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) includes instruction in manufacturing concepts, problem-solving, OSHA 10, math for manufacturing, working smart, and Lean/Six Yellow Belt certification. Classes will take place online and at PCC’s Greenville Center Annex (550 Dexter Street) Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jerry Jones, PCC director of Career Services & Workforce Development, says the institute is part of the college’s efforts to prepare a pipeline of talented and qualified workers for the region’s advanced manufacturing industries. Course content, he said, centers on the skills local industries want.

Jones said AMI would also give participants an opportunity to meet with area industries about jobs. He says Carolina Vinyl Products, Grady-White Boats, The Hammock Source, Mestek and Penco Products have agreed to conduct interviews with students as part of the program.

In order to participate in AMI, students must sign up by Oct. 30 and pay a $180-registration fee. Scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Completion of National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) testing is also required. For those without NCRC scores, PCC offers the test.

More information on AMI is available by calling 493-7885 or visiting Sponsorship information is available at NCWorks Career Centers.

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