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Getting Down to Business in North Carolina

Partnering, Planning, and Passion

The Pitsco and STEM East partnership has been expanding economic growth and workforce development in the eastern North Carolina region since 2014. The network brings together 14 school districts and serves approximately 144,000 students.

STREAM Missions and ACT® WorkKeys®-aligned Expeditions have changed the classroom environment and the way content is delivered. WorkKeys has created a common language between industry and education, and pathway posters show students the direct alignment between what they learn in the classroom and possible career pathways in their regional area.

“We want a workforce of inquisitive minds. We don’t want somebody to take the notebook that says, “Here’s how we’ve always done it.” We want a workforce that can take us to the next level.”

– Millie Chalk, Duke Energy government and community relations manager

“This pedagogical approach to inquiry uses the idea of, “We are going to be developing you as a student who can work in a group and ask questions of each other and communicate with each other and make your own presentation about what it is that you’re learning.””

– Bruce Middleton, STEM East executive director

“What it does is it shows that there is a solid alignment between secondary and postsecondary programs and industries to show that we’re trying to build a superhighway with multiple on- and off-ramps where students can get the careers they want.”

– Chris Bailey, Onslow County CTE director

“Education is only reacting to what they think they’re hearing from industry, and industry is not a clear communicator because we can’t speak educationese. So, a lot of times, we end up with this weird alignment issue that misses the mark slightly, and 10 years later, we look at the output and we’re like, “Uh, oh, that went wrong.” . . . STEM East is addressing the issue. The conversation is happening at the table.”

– Mark Meno, research and engineering group head, FRC East