HICKORY – Gov. Pat McCrory has proposed reinvesting $16.8 million in savings generated by community colleges into additional funding for the state’s 58 community colleges to train workers in high-demand fields such as health sciences, engineering, construction, manufacturing, transportation, chemical and biotechnology fields. 

“This is all about putting North Carolinians in good-paying jobs as soon as possible,” McCrory said. “More importantly, the decisions on how to invest the funds will be made at the local level to directly connect the training to the area economy.” 

Estimated funding for Lake Norman area community colleges:
• Central Piedmont – $895,271.

• Gaston College – $327,246

• Mitchell – $107,341.

Under the governor’s “Closing the Skills Gap” initiative, each community college will decide how it will invest the money, such as updating equipment or providing salary supplements to faculty. The decision will be based on the needs of the communities and the employers they serve.  

Funding for “Closing the Gap" will not come from additional taxes but savings generated by streamlining remedial education programs.


Superintendent continues budget talks
CHARLOTTE – Superintendent Heath Morrison and district leaders will continue conversations about the proposed 2014-15 budget in April and May. Lake Norman-area residents can learn about the budget through a public meeting held 6-7:30 p.m. April 21 at Hopewell High, 11530 Beatties Ford Road.

Morrison is advocating for at least a 3 percent raise for district employees, increased academic choice for students, broadening support services and expanding literacy initiatives.

The proposed budget seeks $402.7 million in funding from Mecklenburg County, an increase of $46.2 million over the preceding year.

The budget proposal includes $41.8 million in county funding to help cover salary increases, sustaining operations and growth, with $8.3 million for program expansion and new initiatives.

These are offset by $4 million in reductions and redirections.