CITY OF PLUS-HEAD – State Representative Pat McElraft R-Carteret said she hopes the 2021-2022 state budget will contain salary increases for employees of the community college system.
“These people deserve it and I hope we can find a reasonable increase. We’re trying to hit 6 percent, but we haven’t finalized the budget, ”McElraft representative said on Friday during a visit to Carteret Community College in Morehead City.
CCC officials invited Representative McElraft to visit the campus as part of an effort by the NC Association of Community College Presidents to have lawmakers on the 58 campuses of the state’s community college system in October and November. .
“This is a great opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to see our state legislators and for legislators to meet our students and hear their plans,” said CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini. , after the visit. “It’s also great to have Pat see some of the good work going on here, talk to our students and see some of our capital needs. “
Representative McElraft toured the Big Rock Career Center, Automotive Technology Program, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Facilities, Welding, Law Enforcement Basic Training Building and the newly renovated living shore of campus .
During the visit, Dr Mancini shared some of the future investment goals of the campus. The CN General Assembly plans to allocate special construction funds to institutions for capital improvement.
Dr Mancini said if lawmakers approve the construction funds, she and CCC administrators plan to use the money to build a transportation technology building. The facility would house the welding technology, diesel equipment and heavy equipment and automotive systems programs.
“These programs are growing rapidly and are at full capacity,” she said. “The building would allow us to consolidate all three programs into one building so that faculty can work together to serve our growing membership. “
Dr Mancini said college staff have started visiting transportation hubs hosted at other community colleges to gather ideas. It did not share a cost estimate for the proposed facility.
Representative McElraft said she was impressed with what she saw at CCC and that she believes in the community college system.
“I graduated from a community college and it took me to work for 30 years in a career,” she said. “Doing these tours helps me when we are working on the budget. I want to see how they use the money and how they take care of the buildings and what kind of needs they have.
Although Rep. McElraft is a supporter of the community college system, she said she does not support funding free tuition fees for all students to attend community colleges.
“It would be a very expensive business and I think the students should have some skin in the game,” she said. “If we just gave funding to everyone, we would have students who wouldn’t really benefit from their education. There are benefits to working while in college. There are also benefits to not having debt after graduation. I am so proud of our community college system.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; send an email to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @cherylccnt.