All posts by Brenda Wilkerson


IT Beginnings Class – Apply Here!

IT Beginnings is for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 interested in tech careers. Employers across industries need tech professionals and IT Beginnings offers basic training and a certification that will allow young adults to continue their education in the field or obtain entry-level positions. In addition, participants will learn by touring Raleigh businesses, getting exposure to advanced technical training programs, as well as mentoring and internship opportunities

The class runs from August 18th to November 8th and will be held at 900 South Wilmington Street in Raleigh.

Click here for more information and to apply!  The application deadline is July 7th.


Access Career Clusters & Pathways Guide Online

Choosing the right career requires linking what you know about yourself to information about jobs, education, and training requirements. The most comprehensive site to help career advisers, students, job seekers, and career changers do this is the NC CAREER CLUSTERS GUIDE, now accessible via CAWD’s home page.

The Interest Profiler identifies personal characteristics, strengths, and activities one enjoys then suggests different kinds of work the person should explore. Users can also take a “Reality Check” which suggests jobs based on a desired lifestyle and corresponding income necessary to financially support that lifestyle. Users are guided through more than 900 careers. Occupations within each cluster have similar knowledge and skill requirements, but when linked with the results from the Interest Profiler, are narrowed down to those which most closely match the person’s work-related interests.

Pathways, job descriptions, employment data, wages, and career stories from real people make this career guide a must-see for workforce stakeholders and partners.  Whether planning a future career or getting ready to enter the job market, getting a well-rounded understanding of what employers are looking for in job candidates is always helpful. The NC Career Clusters Guide can also be printed from the website.


CAWD Welcomes Input on WIOA Plan

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires each Workforce Development Board (WDB) to develop and submit, in partnership with the local chief elected official, a comprehensive four-year plan to the state. We submitted ours in May, 2016. Annually, each WDB will provide updates to the four-year plan. The WIOA Program Year (PY) 2017 Plan will provide current information and be effective July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. The Comprehensive Four-Year Plan (PY 2016) is maintained and updated, as appropriate.

The public is invited to provide input and recommendations to assist in the design of Capital Area Workforce Development Board’s plan effective July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 that outlines strategies for coordinating workforce programs and services for Wake and Johnston counties.

Email recommendations to with the subject line “WIOA Plan-Public Input” by 5 pm on Thursday, April 24, 2017.

Illustration of prisoner and family done in retro style.

Wake County Inmate Employment & Education Initiative

CAWD is working with the Wake County Commissioners and Wake County Detention Center on a permanent program to reduce inmate recidivism with employment and education services. The Wake County Inmate Employment & Education Initiative (WCIEEI) brings back services previously cut during the recession. While there are organizations that offer stand-alone assistance, the WCIEEI will be a coordinated effort of agencies, community organizations, and businesses that are committed to successful transition and reentry of ex-offenders.

The proposed plan has an intake process that includes a risk assessment, needs identification, basic education testing, and goal-setting. Once a case manager is assigned,  goals are further developed, a reentry plan is established, and classes are assigned. Classes will ideally be educational and affect behavioral change, such as substance abuse education, anger management, and domestic violence alongside GED prep, basic skills, and computer literacy. Once released, participants are linked to NCWorks Career Centers for training, work experience and jobs.  Wake County Human Services, housing, and other supportive services will also be available after release.

It costs millions each year to house inmates at Wake County’s detention center.  Successful employment is key to reducing recidivism and housing costs. CAWD’s proposed WCIEEI plan gives inmates a significant head start in areas that will help them reintegrate into the community. Getting the education and skills necessary to find jobs with wages that can support a family reduces the odds of their return to justice system.




CAWD Launches Podcast Channel

To help the public better understand what we do, we have started a podcast channel! Workforce development can be a complicated story to tell since there are so many moving parts; multiple organizations, people, and businesses working in pursuit of a common goal – building a highly-skilled and efficient workforce. Podcasts are an up and coming method of digital communication, short audio stories that you can listen to in the car, at home, or wherever you go. Approximately 57 million people listen to podcasts every month!

CAWD will use podcasts to help tell the “who, what, where, and how” of workforce development’s impact on our citizens and business community. Reducing “government speak,” podcasts done in a conversational, personal, and casual manner can engage new audiences. Podcast interviews will feature CAWD staff, board members, job seekers, program participants, career center staff, and employers.

You can access podcasts from the Information page of our website or on Sound Cloud.  Be sure to follow our podcasts so that you don’t miss an episode! Have a topic suggestion? Let us know!



Game-changing Pathways Strategies: Know the Terrain

Workforce development impacts the economic landscape of the region. The Triangle Regional Career Pathways Collaborative, which consists of CAWD, Durham, and Kerr-Tar workforce development boards, is holding it’s first professional development series for those who have a role in career advisement.

Career Development Coordinators (CDCs) AudienceQ&Afrom the region’s public schools and career advisers from community colleges will join workforce development professionals for a 1/2 day program about where the jobs are, where the jobs will be, regional trends affecting the type of workers businesses are looking for, and much more.

One of the main highlights will be a Q&A with individuals that work in high-demand occupations within the region’s target industries. This will enable attendees to gauge real-world knowledge, skills, abilities, personal qualities and attitudes necessary to excel in those careers.

If your career advisers would like to attend, they can register here.



Annual Kick-off Event!

CAWD holds a kick-off event for career center staff and contractors at the beginning of each fiscal year. We want to provide the right conditions for everyone to give of their best each day so that they contribute to the organizations success with an enhanced sense of their own value and well-being.  Typically, there is a theme selected by the staff to encourage buy-in and participation, while CAWD’s One-Stop team develops the agenda and supporting activities.

This year’s event stresses policy, pathways, and performance!  Full understanding, acknowledgement, and enforcement of policies and processes not only  support the integrated service model, but put customers in the best possible position to receive what they need, when they need it.

Part of CAWD’s career pathways work involves education and professional development for front-line staff for the purpose of helping them to better inform customers about career choices. For example, time and money can be wasted on certifications that are of little to no value to employers. If staff know which cert’s are desirable for which positions, they can lead the customer in the right direction and increase the individual’s marketability.

In the end, we want to impact performance. Team members that are fully absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work  are more likely to do what it takes to further the organization’s goals and those of customers.


Apprenticeship_3 welders

Apprenticeship Summit for Businesses

Capital Area Workforce Development Board and NCWorks are hosting an Apprenticeship Summit for local businesses and organizations to learn a more effective way to recruit and train new employees. Apprenticeships allow workers to learn new skills, adapt to a new company environment, and earn a living wage. An average of 2,000 hours are spent training on the job along with 144 hours of classroom-based instruction per year, with an “earn as you learn” pay scale.

Apprenticeships are a time-tested tool to recruit and train a workforce, with proven economic results for the employer. They have thrived for decades in Europe. An apprenticeship in England is estimated to raise an employer’s economic output by about $366 per week. A Swiss study found that employers in their country earn a net $300 million each year from the work apprentices do while training on the job. A 2009 Canadian study found that, for every $1 Canadian businesses invested in apprenticeship programs, they could expect to receive $1.47 back!

This FREE business event will feature a panel of company reps with apprenticeship programs. Learn first hand how they can help your organization. This event is on May 18th at the Embassy Suites in Cary and includes breakfast and networking time.

Businesses and employers can find more information and RSVP here.

A separate event is being held for partners and workforce agencies.

Taxes On Calculator Showing Income Tax Return

Free Tax Prep at Career Center

It’s tax season! NCWorks is offering free tax preparation and E-Filing for the 2016 fiscal year. IRS Certified Volunteers will be available at Wake County Human Services at the NCWorks Career Center to help you prepare and E-file your federal and state taxes. To process your tax return, please bring original copies of social security cards, government issued photo ID, and all W-2s & 1099Rs. For a full list of required documents and more information please visit The Career Center is located at 220 Swinburne St., Raleigh NC on the third floor. Hours are Tuesdays 12-5, Thursdays and Fridays 10-2.