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October 20, 2022

Be Pro Be Proud NC Officially Launches

NC Home Builders Association Contact: Media Contact: Jeffrey Turner (919) 676-9090 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Be Pro Be Proud NC Launches Two Mobile Exhibition Trailers to Give Middle and High School Students in NC Hands-on Experience with Skilled Trades Professions Concord, NC – 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 ###

October 20, 2022

Be Pro Be Proud Launches Mobile Workshops in NC

On October 20, 2022, Be Pro Be Proud, Inc officially welcomed its fourth state into the fold with the introduction of two new Mobile Workshops in North Carolina. The North Carolina Home Builders Association has led the effort to bring Be Pro Be Proud to their state; Tim Minton, Executive VP, and Tracie Garrett, Director of Special Events, have devoted many hours to working with state legislators and with Be Pro Be Proud, Inc Executive Director Andrew Parker to craft a plan to get the Mobile Workshops up and running throughout North Carolina. Many dignitaries from the NC State Legislature, the NC Department of Labor, and the NC Department of Public Instruction attended the opening ceremony, which culminated in both trucks enthusiastically sounding their horns to signal the beginning of the Be Pro Be Proud presence that will soon be seen at middle schools, high schools, and tech schools throughout the state. Be Pro Be Proud, Inc. is a workforce development initiative operation that is committed to changing perceptions around technical careers through the use of virtual reality experiences and hands-on simulators; to date, more than 180,000 visitors have experienced the Mobile Workshops throughout Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, and now North Carolina since the inception of Be Pro Be Proud in 2016. Notable quotes: “This [Be Pro Be Proud] could be considered a six-year overnight success.” --Randy Zook, President, Board of Directors of Be Pro Be Proud, Inc. “The interactive workshops and professional development programs are showing Americans there is more than one pathway to the American dream. Having Be Pro Be Proud in North Carolina will be a tremendous asset to our workforce and to our economy, and my hope is that these types of programs will help close our country’s skills gap and put more Americans on the path to prosperity.” --U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC) “My involvement in Be Pro Be Proud is one of the things I will be most proud of during my career.” --Josh Dobson, NC Commissioner of Labor “We need initiatives like Be Pro Be Proud because kids don’t know what they don’t know.” --Rep. Jason Saine, NC General Assembly “We do a disservice as a society, telling students that they need a four-year degree to succeed.” --Sen. Todd Johnson, NC General Assembly “If 22% of NC students get a four-year degree, and another 9% get a two-year credential, where are the other 69%? This is why we need Be Pro Be Proud.” --Catherine Truitt, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction “The question we should be asking students is not ‘where do you want to go to school,’ but instead, ‘what do you want to DO?’” --Tim Minton, EVP, NC Home Builders Association Visit the BPBP-NC website at Written by SuzAnne Smithson Driscoll, Be Pro Be Proud SC

February 22, 2022

N.C. Department of Labor, N.C. Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation Sign Be Pro Be Proud Contract

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, officials from the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) and the N.C. Home Builders Educational and Charitable Foundation (Foundation) gathered for a contract signing event to officially mark the establishment of the Be Pro Be Proud pilot program. The program will be administered by the Foundation with oversight from NCDOL.