STATE: Department of Labor, Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation sign Be Pro Be Proud contract

On Tuesday, officials from the N.C. Department of Labor and the N.C. Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation gathered for a contract signing event to officially mark the establishment of the Be Pro Be Proud pilot program. The program will be administered by the Foundation with oversight from NCDOL.

The goal of the Be Pro Be Proud program is to stimulate student, parent and educator interest in technical professions within the construction, manufacturing, transportation and utility industries. The program utilizes a custom-built mobile workshop trailer offering hands-on experience with skilled professionals to middle and high school students statewide.

“When I was asked if Be Pro Be Proud could be housed under the N.C. Department of Labor and saw what a program like this could do for our state’s workforce, I said yes,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “In my capacity as Labor Commissioner, I want to help in any way that I can. This project will help build opportunities for the future of North Carolina’s workforce and I believe that future is bright.”

Interested students will be offered opportunities to pursue specific interest through hands-on learning, volunteering, and participating in networking events with potential job and postsecondary school recruiters. Be Pro Be Proud will also work with the N.C. Trucking Association to support a workforce development program to increase operators and fill a crucial skills gap across the state.

“Labor is the number one issue for our industry right now, and Be Pro Be Proud is one meaningful way for us to move the needle in the right direction,” Tim Minton, N.C. Home Builders Association executive vice president, said. “We are excited to play an active role in this partnership, as we know this program will put North Carolina ahead of the curve in terms of addressing the needs of the workforce.”