Building Tomorrow’s Success: Good Jobs Great Cities Initiative City of Monroe, NC

The City of Monroe, North Carolina, is at the forefront of economic revitalization and community empowerment through its participation in the Good Jobs Great Cities Academy (GJGCA). This two-year workforce development initiative, awarded by the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Labor, aligns seamlessly with the overarching goals of the Centralina Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which is a locally-based, regionally driven economic development plan that focuses on three goals.  1) Expand Economic Opportunity, 2) Build Community Supportive Infrastructure and 3) Strengthen Regional Resilience and Global Competitiveness. Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina Workforce Development Board have been supportive partners throughout this program’s inception which started in April 2023.

Centralina’s CEDS places a strong emphasis on workforce development and education, recognizing them as pillars for economic success. Likewise, the City of Monroe has placed a high importance on these items and recently launched MonroeWorks, to connect jobseekers and local precision manufacturers.  This website hub helps residents find training programs for high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing and clean energy and connects to available jobs posted on NCWorks.gov. Aligning education and upskilling with industry needs gives residents the necessary tools to thrive in a rapidly evolving job market.

The City of Monroe’s strong partnership with local businesses and industries has encouraged job creation and economic growth. Last fall, the city brought together 80 leaders from government, business and non-profit sectors to discuss barriers to hiring in the manufacturing industry.  Other initiatives such as job fairs, apprenticeship programs and youth apprenticeships conducted in partnership with South Piedmont Community College have contributed to building the workforce capacity. These efforts not only attract talent and investment but also drive sustainable economic expansion across the region.

The City of Monroe’s participation in the Good Jobs Great Cities Academy serves as a shining example of how local initiatives can align with regional economic strategies for transformative impact. By staying committed to workforce development, education and job creation, the City of Monroe leads the way for inclusive growth and prosperity for all.

Laurie Garner, Business Services Leader, is a key contact in this partnership with the City of Monroe, and she can be reached at 704-384-2713, lgarner@centralina.org 

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