Governor Cooper Pays Visit to Wayne Community College

Governor Cooper Pays Visit to Wayne Community College

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper visited Wayne Community College on Wednesday afternoon to speak with students and employers in the inaugural Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) pre-apprenticeship program.

SEED aims to provide career pathways and college education for students in southeastern North Carolina counties. The program is being held this summer at WCC and Lenoir Community College (LCC) with 35 students in the cohort between the two schools.

Governor Cooper visited WCC last fall to announce the launch of SEED, which is created through the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and sponsored by Smithfield Foods.

Along with college credit, the program offers career exploration in engineering, maintenance, machining, industrial systems, and mechatronics for the participants.

SEED provides students with a paid education, a monthly stipend for transportation and supplies, hands-on experience and classroom instruction, and weekly field trips to local businesses.

While on campus, Governor Cooper engaged with students in hydraulics and pneumatics, AutoCAD software, and computer-integrated machining classes to view their projects and hear about what they are learning during the program.

The governor commended the efforts of WCC, LCC, SEED’s employer partners, Smithfield Foods, and the public school systems to partner in offering career and educational pathways for students. He congratulated the students for being accepted into the competitive SEED program and encouraged employers to continue investing in apprenticeships.

Additionally, Governor Cooper highlighted the importance of working with public schools to create opportunities for students to find success in the workforce.

“Those investments are really important,” Cooper said. “I’m grateful that our public schools are working with our community colleges through SEED and other apprenticeship programs. We’re going to continue to make sure our workforce is a good one. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come and celebrate this SEED program that’s making so much of a difference.”