Educational Data Systems Incorporated (EDSI) hosted a Lunch & Learn with Cisco for the Capital Area Youth program in Raleigh. EDSI is a national workforce development consulting company. Their Wake County office provides academic and career services to local youth, in and out of school, aged 16 to 24.
Twenty-eight young adults attended the event to learn more about potential careers in technology and beyond. Employees from Cisco discussed the different career pathways available and the interests that brought them to this field. The young adults were then able to ask their own questions of the panel. Some of the subjects they touched on included education, company culture, and the “spark” that helps an employee find fulfillment in their work.
Lunch was provided to participants by Cisco. EDSI plans to run this panel every quarter at the youth center, with a “Day at Cisco” Youth Summit to be scheduled in early Summer.
We have always believed that we have the best board members in the state. So it’s no surprise that Anthony Caison, VP of Continuing Ed. at Wake Tech and “board member extraordinaire” was among a select few chosen for Leadership North Carolina!
What he will learn about the state, its strengths, weaknesses, and community needs are sure to impact what we do to impact the local workforce and business community.
Economic developers have a big job – getting businesses to come (attraction), to stay (retention), and grow (expansion). Often, this includes understanding and communicating information about the current and future workforce, and the historic and projected performance of various industries. CAWD believes strongly in economic development through workforce excellence, the result of which should be a strong talent pipeline that will feed the needs of employers regardless of where they are in the business cycle.
Economic developers are an important link to the business community. Whether we are providing letters of support that articulate services we will provide their business clients, or they are partnering with us on grant applications and industry projects, working together is the best means of conveying a commitment to their success.
CAWD has been involved in several economic development projects, including the expansion of Relias Learning which will bring 450 new jobs to Cary, Novo Nordisk’s expansion that will bring 600 jobs to Johnston County, and Silicon Valley start-up Walk Me’s new location in downtown Raleigh.
Chris Johnson, Director, Johnston County Economic Development
Adrienne Cole, Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development
Capital Area’s board members created three new task forces to concentrate on areas deemed vital to the success of our work – Strategic Communications, Unifying Goal, and Symbiotic Relationships. Symbiotic relationships are those where both entities benefit mutually from the relationship. Because workforce development is such a collaborative endeavor, CAWD is taking steps to understand how our partners feel about working with us, and how we can improve.
A survey was sent to over 100 organizations with whom we currently work, or have worked with in the past. Each was asked to answer questions to help us evaluate our current standing. They also provided suggestions for improving the relationship, such as more communication about board activities.
A new survey will be sent to clarify and expand on what we learned from the first survey. If you did not participate, but want to be included in a follow-up survey, please send an email to CAWD@wakegov.com.
*More than a third of companies surveyed by CareerBuilder are actively recruiting veterans. And almost half (47%) of the same employers have hired a former member of the armed forces in the last year. Employers love veterans for their initiative, work ethic, and tenacity, yet they can lack the technical skills and qualifications needed to enter the civilian workforce in such a competitive job market. In November, CAWD established the state’s first Specialized NCWorks Career Center for veterans to help veterans move more readily into civilian jobs. Veterans from all military branches can utilize the center and family members are welcome as well.
The National Guard Employment and Education Center (EEC) was already providing job search assistance to servicemen and women. Now they offer enhanced services. Capital Area’s one-stop staff trained National Guard personnel on NCWorks policies and procedures so that customers can receive any of the WIOA services for which they qualify, such as training for new skills or increasing current skill levels. They can also utilize the job matching capabilities of NCWorks.gov.
Although veterans can access workforce services at any NCWorks Career Center, being located in the NC National Guard Joint Force Headquarters offers more convenient access prior to exiting the military, and valuable peer support.
The Specialty NCWorks Career Center is located at 1636 Gold Star Drive in Raleigh.
By Brenda Wilkerson
CAWD Communications Mgr.
Few people really impress me, but one group stands out – CAWD’s board members. And no, I’m not just saying that. I’ve been here about 10 years (OMG, that went fast!) as members have served and moved on. But our current members are deeply involved and passionate leaders. #Goodwork is my way of celebrating the things they do on TOP of what they do as board members…which is quite a bit! Whether they’re running
Grace. She was so close, but you know how life seems to get in the way sometimes. A husband, young children and the financial obligations that come along with a young family took precedence over finishing nursing school, an accomplishment that would add nicely to the household coffers and put her on a solid career path. But she persevered until the only thing left was to take final exams, and paying her certification and licensing fees -money she couldn’t manage to scrape together.
Grace soon learned that there are people and organizations dedicated to easing the burden of career transitions. Like Dorcas Ministries in Cary which happens to be run by CAWD Board member Howard Manning. The cost for Grace’s school expenses were awarded to her through Dorcas’ Margaret Keller Education Scholarship fund! So the next time you’re at Wake Med, you may see Grace there, in her dream job and making a difference as she has always wanted to do.
To Howard, the staff at Dorcas, and Grace – we say #goodwork!
Education, workforce and economic development organizations in the Triangle enjoy a strong and successful history of working together. In the past few months, over $5.3 million dollars in grant funds have been awarded to fund collaborative projects for special populations and other workforce initiatives. Regardless of the initiative, we strive to prepare participants for jobs that are in-demand within the region’s growing industries.
TECHHIRE – A $3.96 million dollar grant awarded to Wake Tech to prepare young adults for IT careers. Capital Area will use $2M to hire a project coordinator and to fund paid work experiences and on-the-job-training over the 4-yr grant period. SAS, HCL Technologies, and IBM are business partners. The first cohort of trainees began in October with HRD classes provided by Wake Tech, before moving on to technical training that will lead to industry-recognized credentials. Multiple tracks are available depending on previous experience, the longest of which lasts just over 20 months.
The City of Raleigh, Durham Workforce Development Board, and Wake County Economic Development are also partners. Raleigh was officially designated a TechHire community in March of 2016. There are about 50 TechHire communities in the nation. The designation recognizes the effort that communities put into training workers using innovative, non-traditional approaches. To foster the region’s technology ecosystem, Triangle TechHire will produce measurable outcomes, create community and employer engagement, focus on building skills and careers, and reduce barriers to training and employment.
Visit TriangleTechHire.com for more information.
TRAINING TO WORK – A $1.36 million dollar grant led by Durham Workforce Development Board to provide enhanced workforce services to 170 male and female inmates in work release programs in the Triangle. CAWD will have two new offender specialists in our NCWorks Career Center located at Tillery Place in Raleigh as a result of this grant. Participants will be assisted with developing a life plan before they get out so that they don’t end up back in the system, and have the means to support themselves.
Elements of the initiative will support reentry and promote personal accountability. Inmates will receive access to:
A career pathway that leads to industry-recognized credentials
Job search assistance
Partners in the project include NC Department of Public Safety, Wake Tech, Durham Tech, and Wake County Human Services.