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Increase in community college funding would help with low staff and faculty pay, hiring challenges

Craven Community College President Ray Staats said a recent study shows North Carolina is 41st in the nation for employee pay.
(Photos: Craven Community College)
Craven Community College President Ray Staats said a recent study shows North Carolina is 41st in the nation for employee pay.

The N.C. Community College System has asked the state legislature for a $232 million increase in state funding over the next two years for increases in employee salaries and student investment.

Craven Community College President Ray Staats said average community college salaries in North Carolina are far below many other states nationwide.

“We are below average both in the southern region and nationally. I think we're ranked about 41st in the country,” he explained.

Staats said the disparity makes it hard to attract quality faculty and staff members, particularly in tech areas. He added that they often will advertise a position and only have one or two candidates. In some instances, he says before they can even hire a preferred candidate, they've accepted a job elsewhere.

Community colleges have also asked for $146 million in student investment, which would be distributed across the 58 colleges based on size and each college could choose how to spend the money.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to