CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Getting employed without a four-year degree in Mecklenburg County is about to get a lot easier.
County Commissioner Leigh Altman introduced a new Workforce Development initiative at last week’s commissioner retreat and the rest of the board accepted it.
The initiative would allocate more funds towards bridging the communication gap between high schools, local government, and trade industries that are looking for employees.
This would give high schoolers the chance to still make a decent living without attending a four year university.
“A big problem for us in high school was the constant pressure of like, you got to go into college, you got to do a four year degree so you can get a good job,” said Andrew Gelbman, Charlotte resident.
But according to Altman, and statistics, that is untrue.
“I’m so proud of all of our CMS students who do go off to college, but we need to really change the narrative because that is not the only way to economic independence, which is really what we want for our kids,” Altman said.
Economic independence can come much quicker for students who don’t graduate with thousands of dollars in student loan debt, or a guarantee that they will even graduate.
“I saw a statistic that 2 million students who start college drop out,” Altman said.
Now it is just a matter of the County’s new budget including the funds necessary to get the word out about which industries are hiring and how to apply for those jobs.
“I don’t. I don’t think enough residents know where the hiring industries are. I don’t think graduating seniors now, I don’t think their parents know. Because it’s hard to find out,” Altman said.
“It sounds like a great program. Both me and him could have really used something like that in high school, just like showing us that, that there are resources out there that you can end up with something other than the standard for your college degree,” Gelbman said.