Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Information Technology Secretary Jim Weaver toured Southern School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham. The Governor highlighted the Tech Team program run by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and his recommended budget investments to support schools, teachers and families.
“Our Tech Team is giving students the hands on training and skills needed to succeed in North Carolina’s rapidly growing technology industry,” said Governor Cooper. “Educators are preparing the leaders of today and tomorrow, and my budget makes historic investments to support them.”
“It is great to see these students getting real-world experience in the IT field and learning about the many exciting opportunities available to them,” said NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver. “Programs like Student Connect Tech Teams play an important role in building a talent pipeline of diverse and skilled workers in the ever-changing tech landscape. State government enables young workers to engage in a lot of interesting and meaningful work for the people of North Carolina, and I hope to see some of these students working with us in the coming years.”
“It was an honor to have Governor Cooper visit our students and teachers at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. I remain super excited with Governor Cooper’s passion and support for public education,” said Jerome Leathers, Principal of Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. “It was refreshing to see someone of his stature take the time to witness a portion of the wonderful learning opportunities that are here for our students.”
“Through the Tech Team program, students have been able to uniquely target the needs of their schools and larger community,” said Caroline Sullivan, Executive Director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education. “In addition to paid work based learning and credential attainment, students are developing leadership and durable skills that will serve them well in their future careers.”
“I participated in my first paid IT internship as a junior while I was a college student at North Carolina A&T. Now, 19 years later, I feel I have almost come full circle,” said Joy Malone, Executive Director of Information Technology at Durham Public Schools. “I am able to share the ‘do’s and don’ts’ I learned as an intern, along with my global, corporate IT experiences to inspire and develop future IT professionals starting in high school.”
In 2021, Governor Cooper founded the Tech Team program using GEER funds. Tech Team students serve as student help desk teams by offering user support and fixing and troubleshooting IT, computers and other device issues at their school. Students earn skills and credentials while earning course credit or paid work-based learning. North Carolina has 24 Tech Teams across the state and over 600 students have participated in the program to date.
Governor Cooper’s proposed budget invests substantially in public schools and a sound basic education required by the constitution for every student. This includes raising teacher pay by an average of 10% in FY 2023 and 6% in FY 2024 and sets minimum starting teacher salaries at $46,000 in addition to local supplements. This would make North Carolina first in the Southeast in teacher pay and 16th in the nation, up from 32nd.
The budget also includes, as required by our state constitution, the necessary funding to ensure we have a qualified teacher in every classroom, skilled principals in every school, and the funding to support every student, most especially our students with disabilities, students from low-income families, and English-language learners. The budget will also provide public schools the funding to hire more educators, nurses, counselors, bus drivers, social workers and school psychologists, and funding for expanding the NC Pre-K program to more four-year olds.
The North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) is a business-led, education non-profit 501(c)(3) that operates out of the Office of the Governor. NCBCE connects North Carolina business leaders and the state’s education decision makers through work-based learning.
Learn more about Tech Team.
Read the Governor’s proposed budget press release.
Read the full budget recommendation.