Be Pro Be Proud, an initiative led by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Arkansas (ASCC/AIA), have revealed they are expanding to North Carolina.
In partnership with the North Carolina Home Builders Educational & Charitable Foundation, Inc. and other statewide industry organizations, Be Pro Be Proud NC will launch and begin visiting schools across the state.
North Carolina is the fourth state where the Be Pro Be Proud program operates, with Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina also being involved.
To date, mobile workshops in Arkansas have made more than 837 stops impacting 138,016 students at middle schools, high schools, two-year colleges, fairs and festivals, rural community events, job fairs and businesses. Nearly 40,000 have joined the Be Pro Be Proud movement in Arkansas.
“We want young people to learn how they can make a living, pursue happiness on their own and create their own companies and independent lifestyles,” said Randy Zook, president and CEO of ASCC/AIA and board president of Be Pro Be Proud.
The program will utilize two custom-built mobile workshops offering hands-on experience with skilled professions to middle and high school students statewide. Generating student, parent and educator interest in technical professions within the construction, manufacturing, transportation and utility industries is the purpose of the initiative.
The North Carolina Home Builders Educational & Charitable Foundation signed a contract with the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) in February to administer the program with oversight from NCDOL. Be Pro Be Proud NC aims to change perceptions of technical careers and increase training in order to fix longstanding labor shortages in skilled trades professions.
Different workstations inside the mobile workshops utilize virtual reality technology to allow students to experience what it’s like to use an excavator, practice welding, drive a tractor trailer and work in construction, among other activities.
For more information please visit BeProBeProud.org.