CAMP LEJEUNE, NC (WECT) - Governor Pat McCrory has announced a new public-private pilot project, aimed at keeping newly separated veterans in North Carolina by matching their military skills and experience to civilian employment, education and training opportunities.
McCrory visited Camp Lejeune Thursday afternoon to announce the NC Military Pipeline.
"We want veterans to work and raise a family in North Carolina," said Governor McCrory. "This new jobs pipeline is designed to recognize the unique skills veterans offer and help them launch their civilian lives in the most veteran- friendly state in the nation."
According to the Governor's office, approximately 27,000 service members will separate from their service in North Carolina in 2015. A team of business, education, military and government leaders helped create the NC Military Pipeline pilot program to help convince these new veterans to launch their civilian careers in North Carolina.
Governor McCrory said veterans are a boost to the workforce because military training has already equipped them with many of the 21st-century skills North Carolina needs in fields such as information technology, manufacturing, transportation and health care.
The software powering the NC Military Pipeline pilot program will be tested at the state's Innovation Center, which was created to test information technology before a state investment is made. The "try-before-you-buy" concept deployed at the iCenter has saved taxpayers $6 million since it opened in 2013.
Cisco Systems has agreed to participate in the program and is urging its channel partners and suppliers to also take part in the NC Military Pipeline pilot.
To help kickstart this pilot program, the North Carolina Society for Human Resource Management is inviting its 5,100 statewide members to participate.
However, not all veterans want to re-enter the civilian world as an employee. Research shows 13 percent of transitioning service members are interested in starting a business after they leave the military.
The Small Business Centers at the state's community colleges will work with separating service members to coach and support the launch of their own business once they separate from the military. Dr. George Millsaps, Assistant Commissioner for Small Business and the State Director for the NC Small Business Center Network, will lead that effort.
Earlier in the day, Governor McCrory unveiled his proposed 2015-2017 budget in Raleigh. You'll find details of that at this link.