GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its fourth Grow Local Week. It’s a time for local businesses to connect with students to share more about future careers.

“The Grow Local initiative is a really cool experience unique to Pitt county,” said Beth Ann Trueblood, the career and technical education director for Pitt County Schools. “We work with our local businesses to give students an opportunity in Pitt County to see all the businesses available, so our students can know and look for careers that they may want to go to college for or go straight into work for.”

Nearly 3,000 Pitt County middle and high school students participated this week, visiting several different businesses. One of the stops on Tuesday for students was the “Be Pro, Be Proud” truck simulator.

“We had some VR headsets and some different controls, maneuvering some machines,” said Iza Zamora, a Pitt County student. “I did some welding and I was really into that.”

There were several different stations in the simulator.

“We have a trucking simulation in the front, two heavy lifting simulators,” said Josh Seaford, the operations specialist for the truck. “There’s a lineman bucket they get in with virtual reality goggles. We have four stations that do carpentry, electrical, heating and air, plumbing and welding. By giving them all of these simulators, it gives them a little bit of hands-on to spark an interest.”

Several students said the activities they’ve participated in this week have sparked an interest.

“I really want to do water welding, and when I get to high school it’s an option to do that,” Zamora said. “It shows you all the opportunities out there after school, which is really exciting.”

“When I was searching on the website, they had something about health care and I want to be a part of the health field,” said Daveshia King, another Pitt County student.

This same type of hands-on learning is happening throughout the week, across the county.

“We’re seeing computer programming, we’re seeing the biology, chemistry,” Trueblood said. “We had students at ECU Health, they got to see a C-section and a knee replacement. It was really cool for our students in the health field, to know ‘this is so what I want to do,’ or ‘yeah, this is not for me,’ but this was a great experience.”

The “Be Pro, Be Proud” truck will be at Pitt Community College again on Wednesday for students. Others will be visiting places like Grover Gaming, Greenville Utilities Commission, Grady White Boats and the Greenville Police and Fire Departments, to name a few.

The Chamber of Commerce said it’s a win-win for these local places because it gives them a chance to give out information on how students can get hired after graduation, and show them the opportunities that are waiting for them in their hometown.

To learn more about grow local week, visit this website.