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Aligning NC’s Education Goals with Our Workforce Needs

Aligning the goals of North Carolina’s strong education systems with the needs of the state’s rapidly evolving workforce is a must if we’re to close the skills gap long-term. From apprenticeships to events like Manufacturing Day, the business community and our education systems are already working together to cultivate better alignment but there’s still more to do. It is for this reason, the North Carolina Business Committee on Education (NCBCE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction developed another program to connect business and education.

Teachers@Work” is an externship for educators, aimed at providing teachers across the state with a robust understanding of the technical and soft skills students need to successfully enter the workforce. The program connects teachers with local businesses, nonprofit organizations and state entities to give them hands-on experience they can take back to the classroom and incorporate into lesson plans for their students. How does the program work? A host organization offers a 3 or 5-day on-site professional development experience for one or more educators to expose them to the various aspects of the business and engage them in the work being conducted. In addition to the on-site experience, host businesses are expected to collaborate with their assigned educator on program deliverables, which include educator activity and lesson plan outlines. Participating businesses are asked to make a $1,000 financial contribution per educator to cover stipends and operating expenses. Host businesses also have the opportunity to partner with educators to coordinate a Students@Work program to bring the same experience to life for students.

If you’re interested in receiving more information on these programs or participating, please contact NCBCE’s Robyn Kinsey Mooring at ncbceadmin@nc.gov or (919) 484-7449. Providing students with 21st century career-training opportunities is integral to producing a world-class workforce, but so too is providing those opportunities to their educators. This #WorkReadyWednesday, I encourage you to learn more about this program and what you can do to strengthen workforce development in your area.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber

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