More people in North Carolina will receive help preparing for jobs in high-demand occupations, thanks to a $5.25 million federal grant awarded to the state. The money will be used to create and implement a new program called NCWorks Certified Career Pathways.
The state received a Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support education and training programs, such as on-the-job and classroom training, for people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own or have struggled with long-term unemployment.
This funding will help more job seekers gain meaningful employment, as well as ensure that employers have access to a steady pipeline of talent.
North Carolina was one of 27 states to win the competitive grant award.
“This grant will support our ongoing efforts to find out what employers need from us and align our workforce services to meet those needs,” said Will Collins, executive director of NCWorks. “By working collaboratively with our partners, we’re creating the best workforce in the nation and making North Carolina a top destination for business.”
NCWorks Certified Career Pathways was developed by a collaborative team across education and workforce programs including community colleges, public schools, and local Workforce Development Boards.
Employers lead the development of a career pathway by identifying the workforce needs in high-demand occupations, such as those in advanced manufacturing, health care, and information technology.
Workforce and education partners use this information to develop clear education and training plans to meet those requirements.
Pathways helps prepare individuals for work in a shorter period of time because they follow a path that leads to success without duplication of effort or added cost.
The NCWorks Commission will begin certifying career pathways this summer to ensure they meet the commission’s high-quality criteria such as being data driven, meeting existing and future workforce needs and educating students on potential careers and work-based learning opportunities.
The NCWorks initiative includes the NC Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions, the North Carolina Commission on Workforce Development, the NC Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Community College System.
The goal is to create a stronger alignment of services and resources to meet the workforce needs of businesses, connect North Carolinians to technical training and quality careers and use data to monitor and assess program outcomes