Mecklenburg County, N.C.
Many government regulatory agencies measure success in terms of what didn’t happen. That’s the case for local code enforcement authorities, where the mandate in Mecklenburg County is to save lives and prevent injury by enforcing North Carolina building code. When Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement succeeds, a safe built environment becomes the norm and expectation for the average citizen. That sense of safety becomes part of the foundation on which a thriving community is built. Economic recovery has meant a construction boom for several years in communities like Mecklenburg County, resulting in a need for additional personnel to meet the customer demand for code enforcement services. Hiring is not simple, however – qualified code officials are also qualified to work on construction projects, and Mecklenburg County was finding its pool of qualified candidates running dry, while demand for services continued to rise. After exploring every traditional route for increasing our hiring success, our solution to a lack of qualified job candidates was essentially to train our own qualified candidates. Working together with the Veterans Division of Mecklenburg County Community Support Services, and Central Piedmont Community College, we launched Building with our Veterans. This program is a unique, collaborative and innovative initiative in Mecklenburg County that pairs qualified military veterans with apprenticeships for code official training, allowing these men and women to continue their service in their community, with honor and integrity. Now in its second year, this program is seeing tremendous success and regional recognition.
Mr. Ebenezer Gujjarlapudi
Director, Land Use & Environmental Services Agency (LUESA)