Scholarship increases NCDOT talent pool

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The state government is one of the biggest employers and is always looking for new talent.

The Department of Transportation believes a recently-created scholarship program is helping them expand their pool of potential applicants.

JoAna McCoy, the interim HBCU outreach director for the Department of Transportation, believes the HBCU/MSI Transportation Scholarship Program is showing new grads that the DOT is more than road construction.

“It is so many things. It’s environmental justice, it’s legal. We look at all of these different career paths and how they connect to transportation,” McCoy said.

Kendric Lowe is a finance graduate student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The soon-to-be May graduate received one of the $1,500 scholarships.

“I might have had to take out a loan, ask family members, ask the church for some money,” Lowe said. “With that scholarship, it gave a lot of comfort and confidence to finish everything and gave me security, financial security.”

Along with financial security, the Historically Black Colleges and University/Minority-Serving Institutions Scholarship is providing the DOT with a diverse job candidate field.

“The DOT has an aging workforce, that’s just the reality,” McCoy said. “We need to get some new ideas, new thoughts, and get some new graduates in here.”

Lowe could be one of the new voices. Long term, he wants to help people build a road to financial independence.

“It’s a passion for me to talk about finance,” Lowe said. “That’s how I can help out people and help generational wealth and give back.”

The HBCU/MSI Scholarship is in its second year. NCDOT will take applications for its third year at the NCDOT website in the fall. If you receive a scholarship, you are not obligated to work for the NCDOT after graduation.

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