Education is the foundation to a strong workforce.

As the skill requirements of jobs are increasing and rapidly changing, businesses need to find people with the right skills for the jobs they create and North Carolinians need access to training so they can be ready for those jobs. 

Making North Carolina a Top Ten Educated State

Governor Cooper has laid out a goal to make North Carolina a Top Ten Educated State by 2025 by increasing the number of four-year-olds enrolled in high quality pre-K, raising the high school graduation rate, and increasing the number of North Carolinians with a post-secondary degree or credential. An educated North Carolina is a job-ready North Carolina. 

Easier access to job training for high-demand fields

Too many employers have job openings they can’t fill because they can’t find workers with the right skills. It should be easier for workers to get the training in those fields and keep our employers growing. Already, North Carolina has developed 34 Certified Career Pathways to help North Carolinians get the education and training needed to work in high-demand, high-wage careers, with additional pathways being developed.

Lower barriers to education

The cost of school is more than tuition. Supporting North Carolinians who need help with things like childcare, transportation and the cost of books and materials while they get trained for a new career is critical. Internet access can also be a barrier that must be addressed, from kindergarten through college and career. 

Finish Line Grants 

Governor Cooper’s Finish Line Grants program helps community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies complete their training. The program will use up to $7 million in federal funds to help students pay for course materials, housing, medical needs, car repairs, dependent care, or other financial emergencies that students may face through no fault of their own.

Providing Financial Assistance for Job Training in High-Demand Fields

Many good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow require skilled workers with specialized training. In his most recent budget, Gov. Cooper proposed a $30 million financial aid program to provide free training for high-demand fields, but the General Assembly did not include it in the budget.  NC GROW (Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce), would help cover tuition and selected fees for students pursuing training in high-demand fields, including construction, health sciences, information technology and manufacturing.