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ReCap of JoCo Works 2023


All eighth graders in Johnston County recently participated in JOCO WORKS 2023, a hands-on industry led career exploration program held at Johnston Community College (JCC), an event that is making waves for both the future workforce and local businesses. Over two days, approximately 3,500 students had the chance to engage with more than 40 local industries, fostering a critical connection between education and the business world. 


JOCO WORKS is a groundbreaking initiative that revolutionizes how eighth-grade students in Johnston County explore potential careers. For students who may not have a clear career path in mind, the event provides a vital opportunity for them to explore and discover career options before they enter high school. This exploration is an essential step in ensuring that students make informed decisions about their future education and career paths.


The impact of JOCO WORKS goes far beyond the career expo. It's about planting the seeds of curiosity and ambition within these young minds, exposing them to the vast array of career opportunities right in their hometown. The event featured a diverse range of industries, including biotechnology, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, and tourism, among others. By providing students with a glimpse into the careers available within their own communities, JOCO WORKS is playing a key role in building a local talent pipeline.


Kelly Wallace, Vice President of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce, emphasizes the importance of this approach. "Helping students see exciting careers in their hometowns is a key part of building our talent pipeline," she said.  “By showcasing the multitude of opportunities within Johnston County, JOCO WORKS ignites enthusiasm and helps students envision their future as part of the local workforce.”


In addition to inspiring and informing students, the event also benefits local businesses by creating a pool of talented young individuals eager to contribute to their community. These students represent the future workforce, and local businesses have a unique opportunity to connect with them, inspire them, and ultimately benefit from the talent that they nurture. It's about investing in the future, cultivating local talent, and securing a prosperous future for the entire community. Companies interested in learning more can contact Kelly Wallace by email at


Launched in 2019, JOCO WORKS is an innovative, industry-led collaboration between Triangle East Chamber of Commerce, Johnston Community College (JCC), Johnston County Public Schools (JCPS), Novo Nordisk, Benson Chamber of Commerce, Clayton Chamber of Commerce, government entities, and various business leaders. It's a concerted effort to shape the future workforce and ensure the economic vibrancy of Johnston County.

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See video prepared by JCPS

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