Employment and Training Resources

Community Colleges

The Mission of North Carolina Community Colleges

The mission of the NCCCS is to open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success, develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce, and improve the lives and well-being of individuals.

Creating Success at the Colleges

North Carolina’s community colleges open the door to high-quality, accessible educational opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education. The colleges offer associate degrees, college transfer programs, job training, literacy, and adult education. The colleges maximize student success, prepare a competitive workforce that can succeed on a global stage, and offer services that improve the lives and well-being of individuals in their communities.

The 58 colleges provide an accessible opportunity for educational success to all 100 counties. There are 160 physical facilities – 58 main campuses, 28 multi-campuses and 74 off-campus sites – that bring community college classrooms within a 30-minute drive of virtually every North Carolinian, and distance learning technology reaches students in their homes and workplaces.

Community colleges provide the programs needed to build the economy by preparing students to do the jobs available now and in the future. There are more than 1,000 curriculum programs under more than 250 curriculum titles offered across the state. Programs are offered at the certificate, diploma and associate degree levels. New programs are established as a response to local and regional labor market needs and student demand.

Each college offers students access to basic skills (literacy, GED preparation, adult high school, English as a Second Language, and compensatory education for adults with mental retardation), human resources development (basic workplace skills), occupational continuing education (specific job skills), and curriculum courses (certificate and degree programs).

All North Carolinians can participate in Adult Basic Education and Human Resources Development courses free of charge. Adult Basic Education provides basic skills training for adults, 16 years of age or older and out of school, who function at less than a high school level. Human Resources Development Program (HRD) offers pre-employment training, counseling, and assistance with job placement or further training for unemployed and underemployed adults. HRD focuses on the development of basic workplace skills which are key elements to employment readiness. These skills include: job readiness skills, interpersonal skills and group effectiveness, motivation and goal-setting skills, listening and oral communication skills, problem-solving skills, and assessment of career and employment goals. In addition the Career Readiness Certification (CRC) is offered at 55 of the colleges. The Career Readiness Certificate is a portable credential that promotes career development and skill attainment for the individual, and confirms to employers that an individual possesses basic workplace skills in reading for information, applied math, and locating information – skills that most jobs require.

Please visit the web site at www.nccommunitycolleges.edu for more information on your community college system at work!

Employment Security Commission

Employment Services

The Employment Services Division of the Employment Security Commission (ESC) operates a statewide, no fee, public labor exchange. The program’s primary objective is to provide job matching services which meet the needs of employers and job seekers statewide by locating qualified workers for employers, and by referring job seekers to jobs that best suit their skills, knowledge and abilities. In addition, staff provides career counseling, assessment services, and referrals to other Workforce Development partners who can provide training, specialized services, and supportive services. Intensive services are provided for employers, veterans, disabled individuals and unemployment insurance recipients. Program services are available to anyone who is a citizen of the United States or who is a documented alien authorized to work in this country.

Program services are delivered through a system of direct staff services and automated delivery systems. Services are provided at eighty-nine local offices. Most of these local offices are JobLink Career Centers where the services of multiple partner agencies are available for job seekers and employers. Additionally, Employment Service staff function as partner agency service providers at forty JobLink Centers which are not operated by ESC. The Employment Security Commission’s self-service system known as JobConnector includes an electronic job matching process which matches job seekers to available jobs in “real” time.

As a partner in North Carolina’s Workforce Development System, the Employment Services Division provides WIA funded services in seventeen of the State’s twenty-four local Workforce Development Areas. Through a contractual agreement with the Division of Social Services, we provide Food & Nutrition Employment and Training services for individuals who are receiving food stamp assistance. Also, we are partnering with the Community College System in a skills certification program known as Career Readiness Certification.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federally funded program administered by the Employment Security Commission. The Trade Act of 1974 was amended in 2009 to create a more expensive program of Trade Adjustment Assistance services to provide re-employment services and benefits to a larger population of trade-affected workers. The new provisions include workers who become totally or partially separated, and those who are threatened to become separated from employment as a direct result of increased foreign imports or a shift in operations to foreign countries. The new TAA expands eligibility to service sector workers whose job loss is related to imports of services, to shifts in the provision of services to foreign countries, or to the loss of services formerly to a TAA certified firm.

The benefits of TAA allow workers to adjust to an ever changing labor market. Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) can extend unemployment benefits to allow more time to search for work or to enter an approved job training program. Workers searching for employment may take advantage of payments to assist with Job Search and Relocation expenses when a permanent job is obtained. While workers are seeking employment and/or enrolled in an approved training program, they may take advantage of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) to assist with the burden of monthly health insurance premiums. The HCTC program allows 80% of the monthly cost of health insurance premiums to be paid by the federal government. The remaining 20% of the worker’s monthly health insurance premium is paid by the worker.

The Trade Act of 2009 reauthorized and changed the name of the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program to the Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) program, as an alternative for older workers for whom retraining may not be appropriate and who find employment quickly. This program is effective for trade certification petitions filed on or after May 18, 2009. The RTAA program is a wage supplement program to provide supplemental payments to workers to help bridge the salary gap between their old and new employment.

Food & Nutrition Services Employment & Training Program

ESC has contracted with the Division of Social Services (DSS) since 1987 to operate this program which was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The overall goal of the program is to help Food and Nutrition participants who are receiving assistance from the DSS with their efforts to obtain employment. For participants who are not job ready, this program partners with local Community Colleges, Literacy Councils and various other state agencies to provide job seeking skills training, including information on completing job applications, and additional short and long-term training services. Effective July 1, 2009, this program will be operated in 35 counties across the State serving participants who choose to volunteer for the program.

For more information visit your local JobLink Career Centers or go to: http://www.ncesc.com/individual/

Job Corps

Job Corps provides an intensive program of vocational and academic education, work experience, counseling and other services so that economically disadvantaged individuals (ages 16-24) can become employable and productive citizens. Job Corps is America’s leading residential training program. Funded by Congress and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps has trained young adults for meaningful work since 1964. North Carolina’s Admission Counselors are available to all 100 counties and many are located in JobLink Career Centers. If you or someone you know is interested in joining Job Corps visit your local JobLink Career Center or call (800) 733-JOBS or (800) 733-5627.

Older Americans Act: Senior Community Service Employment Program

Provides part-time community service training and promotes transition to unsubsidized employment for persons 55 years of age and older. For more information visit: http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/aging/scsep.htm

Services for the Blind

To provide extensive specialized personal, social, and vocational guidance and training to enable individuals, who are blind, deaf-blind, or multi-disabled to enter, maintain or regain employment. The Division of Services for the Blind has seven district offices. The Division's services include:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program which specializes working with individuals who blind, visually impaired, or who are deaf-blind, to assist in securing employment and gaining more independence in their home and community. Some of the services offered may include, guidance and counseling, post secondary training, assistive technology needed for employment, job placement, and other services that may be needed for the individual to become successfully employed.
  • Supported Employment Services are intensive and ongoing services to people with the most significant disabilities. The job coach and extended follow-up after employment are two major concepts of the program.
  • Transition Services focus on individual abilities, interests, and needs in preparing students to move from school-to-work or advanced academic or vocational training. Students gain experience through locating internships, volunteer positions, job shadowing opportunities, and paid employment in the local communities.

For more information go to: http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dsb/

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) operates a statewide program of rehabilitation services to enable working-aged persons with disabilities to become gainfully employed and to live as independently as possible. The population served by the VR program consists of persons who have a mental, physical or learning disability that is an impediment to employment and who require a program of VR services to become employed. The objective of the program is to develop and complete a program of rehabilitation services that will result in competitive employment. Vocational Rehabilitation is a public program and no fee is charged. Many services, such as job placement and counseling, are offered to eligible persons without consideration of income. For other services, income may be considered. Services can include job placement, vocational and academic training, physical restoration (prosthetics/orthotics, hospitalization/medication, speech/physical/occupational therapy, hearing/visual services, etc.) rehabilitation engineering and technology services to assist with home, vehicle, or job modifications; tools/uniforms/equipment required for employment; and other services in support of achieving an employment outcome. Programs are delivered by rehabilitation counselors and support staff located in 32 unit offices and two rehabilitation facilities and 16 independent living offices that serve all 100 counties in North Carolina. For more information go to: http://dvr.dhhs.state.nc.us/DVR/VRS/vrshome.htm

Work First

Most adults receiving Work First Family Assistance are subject to work requirements. These individuals are referred to as “work-eligible individuals” and therefore are considered mandatory for the work requirements. County departments of social services provide services to assist these work eligible individuals in meeting their work requirements through placement in job search and job readiness activities, work experience, community service, on-the-job training, vocational education training, subsidized and unsubsidized employment, job skills training, and education directly related to employment.

In addition, support, family enrichment and employment services may be provided for families whose income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level that have a child who meets the same requirements as for Work First Family Assistance. Services vary by county but may include transportation, child care, job retention bonuses, case management, follow-up services, mentoring programs, after-school learning programs, parenting programs, literacy programs, and post-employment skills training.

Work-related services may be provided to non-custodial parents of Work First recipient children. The non-custodial parent's family income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Some county departments of social services do not provide non-custodial parents with Work First employment-related services. Contact your local DSS to determine if these services are available to non-custodial parents in your county. For more information go to: http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/workfirst/index.htm

Workforce Investment Act Programs

The federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) provides training and employment services to adults and dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth who meet eligibility criteria. Assistance with training in adult education, literacy training, occupational skills training, and on the job training is available. Employment assistance includes pre-employment skills development, resume writing, and job placement assistance. WIA services are provided at no cost to eligible participants.

The Division of Workforce Development, within the Department of Commerce, administers the Workforce Investment Act for the state. WIA programs are delivered by local Workforce Development Boards. North Carolina has twenty-four Workforce Development Boards. WIA may be accessed at JobLink Career Centers. For more information visit our website: http://www.nccommerce.com/en/WorkforceServices/.