An education center in Onslow County is ready to open its doors to students next week.
Monday afternoon, Onslow County School officials unveiled the Eastern North Carolina Regional Skills Center in Jacksonville. The multi-million dollar project has been in the making for 15 years.
The center is geared towards career and technical programs. Students have the opportunity to earn industry certifications along with their high school diploma. N.C. State Superintendent Mark Johnson says not everyone has to go to college to be successful.
“They [students] can come and investigate. If they fall in love with the careers’ trajectories, they can go do it. But you know what? If they come here and they try it and they say ‘well it’s not for me, let me go try community college or serve in the Armed Forces or get a four-year degree’, they’ll have that opportunity too,” said Johnson.
Among the courses are animation and design, automotive technology, collision repair technology, culinary arts, cybersecurity and welding technology. In Spring 2020, nursing fundamentals will be offered as well.
Career and Technical Education Director Chris Bailey says the courses offered are critical to Eastern North Carolina.
“We know there is a market shortage in a lot of our trades and industrial areas,” said Bailey.
Students from Jones, Duplin, Onslow Counties and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will be given the proper tools to leave high school with entry-level skills in these career fields.
The goal is to provide students with opportunities to determine a path towards a four-year college degree or employment in trade work.