Raleigh - College affordability and job opportunities were hot topics as N.C. Secretary of Transportation Nick Tennyson met with students and administrators at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro on Monday.
Secretary Tennyson observed a class on supply chain management and spoke briefly with students. He was quick to point out that the state's increased port capacity, coupled with new public and private investments in the state's rail network, make it a great time to be in the business of logistics and intermodal freight movement.
"I hope that each of you will consider a career with the state when you graduate," said Tennyson. "We need smart, highly-trained people like you to keep North Carolina at the forefront of economic growth."
Tennyson also asked students for their thoughts about the state's efforts to make higher education at University of North Carolina schools more affordable. The budget signed by Governor Pat McCrory guarantees a student's undergraduate tuition rate if they graduate within four or five years, depending on their field of study. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
"As a parent, I know the importance of predictable, affordable college tuition," said Tennyson. "Students and families can now have the peace of mind that comes from knowing tuition will not go up."
In addition to the tuition provision, the budget caps fee increases at three percent annually.
Tennyson then met with N.C. A&T administrators to discuss how the state could partner with the school to encourage graduates to consider a career with the Department of Transportation.
Several students in the university's engineering and supply chain management programs have interned with the transportation department in the past. Administrators encouraged the department to engage in additional on-campus outreach to students, such as in-class visitation, increased presence at the school's career fair and the creation of a job shadowing program.