NC East Alliance

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Explore our region and see everything Eastern North Carolina has to offer.

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Hear from area business leaders about doing business in eastern NC.

The Eastern Alliance Workforce: Productive & Profitable

The people of eastern North Carolina exemplify hard work and they're ready to go to work for your company. Highly motivated and well-educated, they provide a solid base of employees for just about any kind of organization. What's more, there's an unsurpassed educational and training infrastructure to make sure that whatever the future holds, the eastern North Carolina workforce will be ready to help ensure your success.

Workforce & Training Information

Educational Attainment
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Since 2000, the region has seen a sharp decrease in the percentage of residents who possess less than a High School Diploma, while both those possessing a High School Diploma and Associate's Degree or Some College have increased. On the state and national level, the most significant growth also occurred in those obtaining a Bachelor's Degree and above.

Educational Resources

A history of excellence, a heritage of leadership

Long known for the quality of our educational institutions, North Carolina is proud to be home to so many schools that have shaped our country and our culture for generations. As home to the first two towns in North Carolina, Eastern North Carolina has a strong commitment to - and the longest standing history of - education for our citizens. Home to many private colleges, community colleges, and universities, the region continues to set the example for innovation and access in education.

North Carolina is a Right-to-Work State

Enacted in 1947, North Carolina’s Right to Work law prohibits "closed shop" union agreements. An employer may not require an employee to join a union, nor may an employer require an employee to refrain from joining a union. Employees who work in North Carolina (except those who work on federal property or for a railway or airline) have a right to resign from union membership and not pay union dues or fees. The unionization rate for North Carolina workers is among the lowest in the nation. To read the North Carolina Right to Work law in its entirety, Click Here.

Unionization Rates

North Carolina has long been known for its low unionization rates, and today ranks the lowest in the nation for unionization. The strong work ethic and productive attitude has allowed the state to earn the nation's highest productivity ranking in manufacturing, which accounts for nearly 15 percent of the state's economy. Within this sector, North Carolina has a strong presence of machinery, lumber and wood products, printing, publishing and allied industries.

ESC/100 Day No-Fault

To help companies minimize the time-consuming task of finding employees, the North Carolina Employment Securities Commission (ESC) maintains a free database of available workers. To encourage use of this service, the ESC offers a 100 day no-fault provision for workers hired through the database.

If it is determined within the first 100 days of employment that a worker your company hired through the ESC database is not capable of meeting the job requirements, that employee’s subsequent dismissal is not charged against your company’s unemployment insurance tax account.

Training Resources In Eastern North Carolina

North Carolina has long been a leader and innovator in customized industrial and business training initiatives. The highly acclaimed North Carolina Community College System is the primary delivery vehicle for state-sponsored training programs. With 58 campuses, it’s one of the largest, most advanced community college systems in the nation.

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A comprehensive array of free or low cost training programs, support services and resources are available throughout the Region to both new and existing companies. Click on the headings below for more information about each topic:

  • Special Training Opportunities These include a variety of industry-specific programs and one-of-a-kind training resources available around the Region.
  • Small Business Support These are community based providers of training, counseling, and resource information. Small Business Centers are located at Region community colleges.
  • Customized Training A program providing free, customized job training to companies meeting certain capital improvement requirements. New and expanding companies work with state sponsored programs through their local community colleges to help train employees for all specific skills needed for local industries.

Community college representatives work with employers to identify training requirements and design a program tailored to meet those needs. Courses can be taught at a nearby community college campus, or in the workplace at times that are convenient to employers.

Special Training Opportunities

You'll find a wide range of specialized training possibilities throughout the Region - from teaching hospitals to advanced machining centers to aeronautical technology training facilities. Whatever the demand, there's training to match in the Region.

Teaching Hospitals There are 17 hospitals throughout eastern North Carolina, all of which are involved with either medical and residency programs, or student nursing programs. Many of the nursing programs are through the local community colleges, while the medical internship or residency programs are primarily through the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

The North Carolina Marine Training and Education Center (NCMARTEC) is a state-of-the-art marine training facility located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Morehead City. With courses taught through Carteret Community College, NC MARTEC offers customized and curriculum training in maritime trades, including marine propulsion, boat manufacturing, composite and fiberglass technologies, marine electrical and plumbing systems, marine coatings, boat maintenance, repair and restoration, rigging and welding.

Institute of Aeronautical Technology Located in Havelock and operated by Craven Community College, this facility was originally designed to assist with training needs at the Naval Air Depot. Today the Institute provides specialized training in many areas of aviation including aviation systems technology courses.

NC Aviation Alliance Advanced Machining Center Based at the NC Global TransPark in Kinston and operated by Lenoir Community College, the Advanced Machining Center provides training programs and other assistance for businesses interested in manufacturing aircraft components for the military.

NCSU Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) exists to provide multi-disciplinary research and learning opportunities on the coastal environment. Staffing is through North Carolina State University, and involves faculty from over 15 university departments.

UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences Located in Morehead City, studies at this campus center on marine biology, ecological studies, and related fields.

Duke University Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences Also in Morehead City, the marine lab for the Nicholas School is utilized by students at all levels of collegiate studies.

Gateway Technology Center in Rocky Mount is a joint enterprise by East Carolina University and NC State University to provide Eastern North Carolina residents with easy access to post-secondary education. Using both on-site and distance learning, the Gateway Technology Center provides baccalaureate and masters degree course study in fields such as agriculture, engineering, and computer science, and engineering.

North Carolina Global TransPark Training Center in Kinston is a world class education and training facility available for use by corporate, governmental, and other groups from across eastern North Carolina. The GTP Training Center has two computer labs, a full auditorium-style distance learning classroom with high-speed Internet connections, a high-bay area for industrial training, and other training resources.

Technology Enterprise Center of Eastern Carolina in Greenville fosters the development of technology-based businesses by providing office space, administrative services, laboratory facilities, and light manufacturing space (including clean room) on a short-term lease basis. On-site consulting services are made possible through the Center's affiliations with ECU and NCSU. The Center enjoys direct involvement by representatives of ECU's School of Business, School of Industry and Technology, and School of Medicine.

Kinston Enterprise Center in historic downtown Kinston is a small business incubator that helps Region entrepreneurs transform their ideas into viable, lasting enterprises. The Center has a comprehensive support system to assist tenants in all key aspects of business management, from writing business plans and marketing strategies, to preparing successful funding proposals, and much more.

Small Business Support

In addition to support for businesses of all sizes- including specialized training, educations and incentives - the Region provides a variety of support services specifically for small businesses. Here are just a few of the ways in which we work to support start-ups and small businesses.

The Small Business Center Network, comprised of 58 Small Business Centers throughout North Carolina, supports the development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by being a community-based provider of training, counseling, and resource information. A Small Business Center is located at your nearby community college.

Free, confidential counseling services are available for new and existing businesses. Small Business Center staff members act as a sounding board for ideas or concerns you may have about your business, and help you find solutions.

Other SBC services include seminars, workshops, and free access to vital resources and information. We can put you in touch with business and community leaders, as well as local, state and federal agencies that share the goal of making your business a success. Some seminars and workshops require a minimal registration fee.

Technology Enterprise Center of Eastern Carolina in Greenville fosters the development of technology-based businesses by offering office space, administrative services, laboratory facilities, and light manufacturing space (including clean room) on a short-term lease basis. On-site consulting services are made possible through the Center's affiliations with ECU and NCSU. The Center enjoys direct involvement by representatives of ECU's School of Business, School of Industry and Technology, and School of Medicine.

Kinston Enterprise Center in historic downtown Kinston is a small business incubator that helps eastern North Carolina entrepreneurs transform their ideas into viable, lasting enterprises. The Center has a comprehensive support system to assist tenants in all key aspects of business management, from writing business plans and marketing strategies, to preparing successful funding proposals, and much more.