Empty building to become a workforce development center

Empty building to become a workforce development center
Cape Fear Council of Governments spends $13,750 on rent for a building that will become a workforce center (Source: WECT)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - An office building on South 17th Street that was once a doctor's office, now sits empty - dark and desolate.

"Come here, you mean business. You coming here to find a job, " explained Chris May, executive director for the Cape Fear Council of Governments. "And we're going to get you all squared away when you leave here."

May says the COG is turning the empty building into a workforce development center.

"It is conveniently located where we think our target groups are going to be coming from," May said.

That's why it called dibs on the building back in October 2015, but plans for it did not go as well as the group had hoped.

"I would wish we could have gotten into it in January, I wish we would have had a workforce board in December but we didn't," May said.

According to the Workforce Investment Opportunities Act, they were required to reestablish a workforce board for New Hanover County, which took longer than they had hoped, and once they lease was signed and they were inside of the building, the problems continued

"When we saw water damage, first thing I think is there might be mold," May said.

So they had to take more time to ensure the building was safe. The delay in actually opening the workforce center has continued to cost money.
The building's lease shows the Cape Fear Council of Governments is paying $13,750 a month for the building

May said they jumped on the purchase so many months ago, so they wouldn't lose out on securing the space, and says the investment won't be in vain.

"We're going to make up for lost time just as quick as we get in there," May explained.

They have signed a five-year lease, and their hope is to be inside of the building by July.

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