What is Grow Local?

Grow Local is a no-cost/educator initiative designed to introduce, involve, inspire, and invest in the future of our community and workforce.  Originally introduced in 2018, Grow Local is a program designed to create and unveil career interests, grow the talent pipeline, and connect local businesses to future employees.  During Grow Local Week, Pitt County businesses open their doors to host local middle and high school students, providing them with a unique opportunity to identify career paths and opportunities they may be unaware of.

From tours of local businesses, conversations with business leaders, and hands-on activities, students will have first-hand experience at a day in the life of an employee in a field relevant to curriculum they are studying in their class.

Businesses and employers can participate in three main ways:

  1. Host an experience.
  2. Sponsor
  3. Be a Grow Local supporter and recruit additional businesses to participate.


To view the 2023 Grow Local Video, click here


"Thermo Fisher actively participates in the Grow Local program because we strongly believe in the importance of fostering a strong and skilled workforce for the future. By providing students with the opportunity to explore exciting possibilities within our sector and gain hands-on experience, it is our goal to inspire and cultivate their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. By nurturing this interest, we believe we can positively impact their future engagement and contribute to the overall workforce development in our area. The Grow Local program plays a vital role in bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world applications, fostering a stronger connection between students and the local business community." - Tommy Schornak,Vice President and General Manager, Thermo Fisher

"Grow Local is an incredible opportunity for students in Pitt County to see the potential career growth that is available in Eastern North Carolina. Not only does it ignite a spark in the students, but it shows them that fulfilling, lifelong careers can be created from the passions that they love. At Red Shark Digital, we participate in Grow Local to further instill the passion of digital marketing, and the opportunities available right here in our community. As a globally recognized, award-winning agency, we recognize the career opportunities in our industry that are at their fingertips - and any way we can further develop or cultivate that passion in students... we'll do it!" - Alaina Corsini, Marketing Director, Red Shark Digital

2024 Presenting Sponsors


2024 Gold Sponsors