Connect NC would help local schools

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Much has been said at the state level about the $2 billion bond referendum North Carolina voters will be asked to decide on when they cast primary ballots on March 15. But Connect NC has real implications here in the Twin Counties, too. As in, about $15 million worth.

That’s how much Nash Community College and Edgecombe Community College stand to gain, collectively, if the bond passes.

About $7.7 million would go to Nash Community College, where the first priority for the money would be the Early College High School Program, one of the more successful academic initiatives in the Rocky Mount area. The Early College High School program currently serves about 240 students in mobile units. Bond money would allow Nash Community College to build a permanent facility and expand the program by 100 more students.

Nash leaders also hope to use money from the bond to build new quarters for its engineering and cosmetology programs. And the community college would establish a two-year degree in veterinary technology.

Edgecombe Community College, meanwhile, would receive about $7.3 million if the Connect NC bond passes. The college plans to build a Center for Innovation in Workforce and Public Safety in Tarboro if voters approve the referendum. Specific programs would include customized training for business and industry, emergency medical services, fire and rescue, law enforcement, warehouse and logistics and culinary arts, officials said.

All the more reason for voters in the Twin Counties to say “yes” to Connect NC.