Align4NCWorks

Align4NCWorks

Align4NCWorks promotes a more responsive and aligned workforce development system by strengthening partnerships among community colleges, business/industry, workforce development boards, public schools and economic development.

The Ultimate Aspiration: Ensuring that NC is #1 in Workforce 

The NC Chamber (NCC) may have said it best in its strategic plan:
North Carolina will be a global leader in the number of students leaving its community college system with a job-ready credential that can lead to becoming a successful employee or employer in a global economy and provide for better skills, better jobs, better pay and continued educational attainment.

Overarching Aims:

  • Alignment
  • Responsiveness
  • Engagement
  • Accountability

Align4NCWorks Strategic Plan Goals:

  • Goal 1: Increase and sustain employer engagement as part of an integrated, customer-centered workforce system.
  • Goal 2: Connect students to quality careers and employers to quality employees.
  • Goal 3: Ensure education and training address and validate skill and competency needs and attainment.
  • Goal 4: Expand work-based learning opportunities.
  • Goal 5: Improve career awareness and mapping.
  • Goal 6: Increase opportunities for college access while keeping education and training affordable.
  • Goal 7: Promote demand-driven and data-informed decision making and evaluation to more effectively meet workforce customer needs and enhance system accountability.
  • Goal 8: Strengthen the foundations of success for workforce development.

NCCCS Strategic Plan Update

The NC Community College System continues its implementation of its 2018-2022 strategic plan, "Putting Education to Work," as it begins to develop its next strategic plan, expected to be adopted by the State Board of Community Colleges in fall 2022.

"Putting Education to Work" was updated by the State Board of Community Colleges to address special challenges of 2020.

New/increased areas of emphasis:

• Flexible learning/online learning

• Proactive support for students of color

• Small business counseling

Workforce Learning Summits

As the first step in the Align4NCWorks process, the NC Community College System turned to the state’s 58 community colleges and their local partners to spotlight workforce innovations and discuss challenges. Community colleges hosted regional Workforce Learning Summits involving partners from business and industry, public schools, workforce development boards and career centers, and economic development. Elected officials, local government leaders, community organizations and other partners also participated.

Challenges

Challenges identified at Workforce Learning Summits:

  • Limited awareness of workforce services and in-demand careers
  • Difficulty finding employees with “soft skills” or job-specific skills
  • Cost and policy barriers to effective service delivery
  • Staying current with emerging technology
  • Retaining great people in the 'education and training' workforce

Innovations

Major themes of best practice presentations at Align4NCWorks Workforce Learning Summits:

  • Career pathways and awareness
  • Employer engagement and demand-driven workforce services
  • Workforce education, training and credentialing solutions
  • College affordability and access
  • Work-based learning
  • Connecting jobseekers and jobs

View a table and summaries of innovations.

For More Information

To learn more about the initiative, email align4ncworks@nccommunitycolleges.edu