WINTERVILLE—During a recent visit to Pitt Community College, Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly spoke with College Council members about Pitt’s “integral” role in determining the region’s economic success as he shared the city’s latest achievements and objectives.
Connelly, a Wisconsin native who came to Greenville to play intercollegiate baseball at East Carolina University, has worked with Greenville’s city government since 2015. He served on the city council two years before successfully running for mayor in 2017.
At Pitt, Connelly spoke about Greenville’s efforts to improve infrastructure, reduce crime, and enhance the quality of life. He also discussed the city’s appeals to state and federal legislators to bring U.S. Highways 264 and 64 up to interstate standards to aid in the recruitment of new business and industry. He noted that Greenville, with a population of 93,137, is the largest city on the East Coast without an interstate highway close by.
In a social media post following his PCC presentation, Connelly stated: “One of our primary objectives is to attract more jobs to our community, and we are lucky to have Pitt Community College in our community to help make sure we have a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the incoming businesses.”
In addition to training many of Greenville’s law enforcement officers and fire/rescue personnel, PCC has provided workforce development training to city employees in each of the past two years. “You guys have been an incredible partner for us,” Connelly said.
One of the more promising recent developments the mayor highlighted is the establishment of the Greenville-ENC Alliance, a public-private economic development organization serving the Greenville-Pitt County region. One of its goals, he said, is to build upon the county’s current assets, like PCC, ECU and Vidant Medical Center, to increase employment opportunities.
“Economic development,” Connelly said, “is all about changing people’s lives—and it starts with jobs.”
Following his remarks, Connelly fielded questions from employees. His responses touched on Greenville’s attempts to host more concerts, develop the “Emerald Loop” art district, and preserve and promote historic districts.