New skills center breaks ground in Jacksonville


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Finding a good job after graduation can be tricky. A new skills center coming to Onslow County hopes to change that.

It's a very big step after a nearly 10-year process -- breaking ground Tuesday at Onslow's Regional Skills Training Center. When the center opens, students in Onslow, Jones and Duplin counties will have access to instruction for multiple trades including automotive collision, plumbing, welding, cyber-security, culinary arts and programming.

School district leaders said the training center will equip students to find good jobs locally after they graduate and give them skills they can build on if they choose to go to college.

"I think career tech education is fragmented throughout all the schools," said State Sen. Harry Brown, who was at Tuesday's groundbreaking. "And this facility will finally bring that together and I think it will be just huge for the students to learn these trades and be able to find those good-paying jobs that are out there and are heavily needed."

The school district hopes to have the facility open for the 2018-19 school year. The school district received a $5 million grant from the state to build the skills center. Onslow County provided the property at no cost under an agreement that the center would be built within three years.

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