Be Pro Be Proud NC Launches Two Exhibition Trailers
On Thursday, October 20, 2022 the North Carolina Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation, Inc. held an event to celebrate the launch of Be Pro Be Proud NC, an initiative to generate student, parent and educator interest in technical professions. Be Pro Be Proud NC utilizes two custom-built exhibition trailers equipped with virtual reality technology to give middle and high school students hands-on experience with skilled professions within the construction, manufacturing, transportation and utility industries.
A major workforce development initiative, Be Pro Be Proud NC aims to change perceptions of technical careers and increase training in order to address longstanding labor shortages in skilled trades professions.
“One day when I look back at the accomplishments in my time at the Department of Labor, Be Pro Be Proud will rank near the top,” said NC Commissioner of Labor Josh Dobson. “This project will help build opportunities for the future of North Carolina’s workforce and I believe that future is bright.”
The North Carolina Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation signed a contract with the NC Department of Labor (NCDOL) in February of this year to administer the program with oversight from NCDOL. North Carolina is the fourth state where the Be Pro Be Proud program operates. Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina are currently also involved in the program.
“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,” said Tim Minton, Executive Vice President of the NC Home Builders Association.
Different work stations inside the trailers 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. SPEVCO, a Winston-Salem, NC-based company that specializes in mobile exhibition trailers, constructed the two trailers.
Funds for the North Carolina program were included in the 2021 Appropriations Act (Session Law 2021-180).
“I’m proud to have been a part of bringing Be Pro Be Proud to North Carolina,” said Representative Jason Saine (R-Lincoln). “This program will be instrumental in showing students in North Carolina that rewarding, profitable careers exist in technical professions.”
To learn more about this initiative, visit https://www.beprobeproudnc.org/.