Among the most significant questions a company new to North Carolina or expanding in the state must address is how to attract and retain a qualified workforce. No state has greater long-term experience with successful workforce solutions than North Carolina. Its world-class educational system of colleges and universities ensures a robust pipeline of candidates in fields ranging from finance to nanotechnology. Its award-winning community college system provides state-of-the-art training customized to meet an employer’s specific needs. North Carolina’s workforce development system—one of the most comprehensive in the nation—brings employer and employees together by managing recruiting, screening and other necessary pre-employment assessments.
Talent acquisition and development in North Carolina is coordinated by a network of nationally recognized economic, education and workforce development organizations, including the state’s Department of Commerce, public community college and university systems and a large cadre of private colleges and universities. On behalf of a company new to the state or expanding its existing footprint, this team can manage a customized plan for initial recruitment, personalized screening, pre-employment training and, ultimately, client-specific training.
Coordinating closely with the state’s world-class research institutions and its 58-campus community colleges, North Carolina’s workforce development program is well positioned to keep pace with new and advancing technologies. Its educational institutions produce a pipeline of graduates with a strong work ethic, high technical skills and knowledge and motivation guaranteed to ensure a company’s success and ability to compete in a global economy.
At no charge, NCWorks Career Centers provide companies with an extensive network of recruiters and recruiting tools. These experienced specialists leverage resources to more efficiently and effectively identify qualified applicants.
Job awareness and outreach strategy
Representatives work with a company to develop a coordinated communications and outreach strategy, crafting job opportunity public announcements and press releases and identifying target media outlets.
Online job postings
Company job openings can be posted online, making them available at over 100 NCWorks Career Centers across the state. These vacancy announcements are also automatically sent to community college and university career centers, ensuring the broadest possible qualified labor pool.
Recruitment training video
The North Carolina Community College System’s Learning Solutions Center can produce an orientation and process overview video to be used during various recruitment activities. The video can also be uploaded to a company’s website. The NCWorks website, which draws nearly 3 million visitors a month, can also feature the video.
Job fairs and on-campus recruiting
Special events, including job fairs and on-campus recruiting, provide excellent access to targeted talent pools and offer the opportunity to preview the quality of that potential workforce.
Other talent acquisition services available include basic community orientation for those moving to the state and diversity and campus recruitment proposals.
NCWorks Career Centers
Primarily at no charge, NCWorks Career Centers offer a variety of employment services that help companies find employees with the required skills.
Services available at NCWorks Career Centers:
- Computer Access
- Job opening postings
- Job applicant screening
- Qualified candidate referrals
- Space for applicants interviews
- Job fair arrangement
- Reference library for use by companies
- Information on local labor market, prevailing wages, etc.
- Employer workshops on a variety of topics
Available screening services can trim considerable time from the staffing process. Screening services provided at no charge include:
NCWorks Career Centers can manage applicant flow through web-based screening, using candidate questionnaires or telephone/face-to-face interviews with candidates.
Using job requirements developed by the company, professional employment consultants can screen applicants to ensure that the company talks only to those individuals who meet the company’s qualifications.
Facilities and equipment
Community college and university career centers, as well as NCWorks Career Centers, can provide facilities and office equipment to conduct job fairs, applicant interviews, group orientation and training.
Experienced staff can make a variety of recommendations regarding test selection and implementation, including: employment testing issues, test locators, medical exams, achievement tests, aptitude tests, personality tests, selection of non-biased and reliable tests, drug tests, polygraph testing and criminal background checks.
Working with a company’s human resources team, certified job profilers use nationally recognized work classification programs to create task lists, perform skills analysis and develop customized position descriptions.
The overall focus of preemployment training is to provide both the candidate and the company an opportunity to assess each other and determine if there is a good match for a long-term relationship. Participating with the knowledge that there is neither a guarantee of a job offer nor an obligation to accept a job offer, candidates are afforded a realistic job preview. For a company, this program provides the opportunity to articulate its philosophy to potential candidates and observe them during structured working scenarios.
North Carolina Community College Customized Training Program
North Carolina pioneered free and customized job training for companies new to the state and those already established here that are experiencing job growth. Sponsored by the state’s 58-campus community colleges, the Customized Training Program can support any full-time production, technology support or direct customer service positions created in North Carolina. Services provided include training assessment, coursework design, training delivery and related instructional costs. The Customized Training Program is designed to support three key aspects of a company’s well-being: job growth, technology investment, and productivity enhancement.
Companies eligible for this program include manufacturers, technology-intensive operations, i.e., information technology, life sciences, etc., regional or national warehousing and distribution centers, customer support centers, air courier services or national headquarters with operations outside North Carolina. Civil service employees providing technical support to U.S. military installations in the state are also eligible to receive customized training assistance.
To receive assistance, eligible companies must meet two or more of the following conditions:
- The company is creating jobs, expanding an existing workforce, or enhancing the productivity and profitability of its operations within the state;
- The company is making an appreciable capital investment;
- The company is deploying new technology, or
- The assistance will enhance the skills of workers
The Customized Training Program serves any full-time probationary employees of a qualifying company who will be paid for hours in a training status. Program advantages include the following features:
- Development of a training plan in collaboration with the company;
- Instructors from the North Carolina Community College System or the statewide network of technical training experts, and
- Company trainers can be reimbursed for participating in training activities that are consistent with the training plan and delivery schedules. Subject to a designated instructional period, the community college responsible for providing customized training may reimburse a company for the actual hourly wages of a defined number of trainers for up to $30 per hour.
On-the-Job Training (OJT)
On-the-job training enables state workforce development professionals to provide the resources for training and retraining of local workers in partnership with the private sector. Training resources combined with employment opportunities provide a more highly skilled, competitive workforce, while responding to the human resource needs of new, expanding and existing companies. Via local workforce development boards, companies are compensated on a cost-reimbursement basis for up to 50 percent of an eligible new employee’s wages paid during on-the-job training for a set period of time.
NCWorks Apprenticeship Program
The NCWorks Apprenticeship Program is uniquely advantageous for participating companies. Using a time-honored model for industrial training, employers mentor entry-level employees in company-specific skills. Through apprenticeship, a company more effectively controls its human resource pipeline and reduces turnover.
Working on an employer-determined schedule, apprentices will be trained both in the classroom and on the job.
To establish an apprenticeship program, a company works with the North Carolina Department of Commerce to develop an approved written agreement. This document specifies the length of the training, the related technical instruction, an outline of the skills to be learned and the wages that an apprentice will earn.
NCWorks Incumbent Worker Training Grants
In addition to customized training, North Carolina resources support on-the-job training. The Incumbent Worker Training Grant reimburses companies for the cost of training their workers, helping to improve the skills of employees and the company’s competitiveness. Employers can receive up $10,000 per grant and up to a total of $60,000 from this program over the course of the company’s lifetime.
Incumbent Worker Training Grants cover the costs of the following training-related expenses:
- Instructional costs for training courses
- Classes for certification exams
- Online training
- Skills assessments related to requested training
- Textbooks and manuals
- Computer software for training purposes
- Instructor travel (if the training location is not within a reasonable distance of the company)
Continuing Education Program
The North Carolina Community College System Continuing Education Program is among the best in the world, enrolling and training more than 546,000 people each year. More than 1,400 affordable, short-term occupational skill training courses are offered across the state to train, retrain and upgrade workers for current or future job skill requirements or certifications. Continuing education opportunities are offered at the request of employers as well as individuals.