Employer Leadership

Employer-led job training programs have the best career outcomes.

Employers know best what skills their workers need and employer involvement is key for workforce development and job readiness. Businesses that invest in developing North Carolina’s workforce will benefit from well-trained employees and a more innovative workplace that better reflects its community.

Increased work-based learning opportunities

The governor is asking employers to partner with educators to offer more work-based learning opportunities to give students a taste of the technical skills associated with a given career, expose students to critical soft skills needed to be successful, and equip them with the tools to decide if it’s the right path. That starts with employers getting involved in their local schools to increase students’ career awareness and understanding of the jobs available now and in the future. Work-based learning also includes internships and apprenticeships where students experience real-world professional environments and learn new skills specific to the job they hope to pursue. North Carolina is currently one of six states selected for a project to create and expand work-based learning opportunities to connect young people with career opportunities through the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. 

Employer-led training for new and existing employees

Enabling employers to offer training both on their own and in partnership with local schools is crucial to developing a job-ready North Carolina. Successfully upskilling workers will enable employers to promote from within and bring in new employees to fill the vacancies. 

Streamlined employer partnership

As market dynamics shift quickly, North Carolina needs to be adaptive and responsive to the evolving needs of businesses. All agencies engaged in economic and workforce development will collaborate to fully understand business needs and efficiently deliver the right services to address those needs. 

Employer Training Fund

Supporting Employer Innovation and Workplace Training

Employers themselves know the most about the skills industries require. Gov. Cooper's most recent budget provides $10 million for a competitive grant program to assist employers in addressing workforce training needs and employee skill gaps, but the General Assembly did not include it in the budget. Funds would support work-based learning initiatives like flexible, paid internship and employment opportunities for students, apprenticeship programs, and "up-skill/back-fill" projects to help current employees develop the skills needed to fill new roles and back-fill job openings with new hires. The Department of Commerce would collaborate with Workforce Development Boards, the NC Community College System, employers, and other industry partners to design and implement the grant program.