All posts by Brenda Wilkerson

CAWD/IBM Collaboration Offers Free Seminars for Small Business Owners

Small businesses owners can now take advantage of a series of FREE seminars specifically geared to their needs given the current climate. The seminars allow businesses to tap into resources of “SkillsBuild Reignite,” an initiative the partnership is officially launching soon.

Topics surround digital strategy, business strategy and legal education. All are presented by IBM professionals who are highly experienced with helping clients drive business value.

Find the full list of seminars and registration links HERE.

Regional Job Fair Goes Virtual Amid COVID-19 Rules and High Unemployment

Raleigh, NC, Sept. 28, 2020 – Capital Area Workforce Development (CAWD), Durham Workforce Development and Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board are hosting the Triangle Career Expo virtually on Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 9 am to 2 pm. The goal is to connect over 76,000 unemployed citizens throughout the region with local employers who have immediate and valuable career opportunities. Admission is free.

“COVID has impacted jobseekers of all skillsets and experience levels. The in-person job fairs we’ve done in the past always had strong turnout and this event offers the same benefits but in a virtual setting,” said Pat Sturdivant, Executive Director at CAWD. “It’s convenient and user-friendly for job seekers and businesses. It also allows for face-to-face interaction which is the main benefit of attending any job fair.”

Kimberly Wheeler, CAWD Director of Business Engagement said “This event showcases the diversity and strength of the region’s industries. Employers across healthcare, technology, professional services, construction and more are participating and have immediate hiring needs. We especially want to reach those whose jobs were affected by COVID. There are opportunities for all experience levels and skill sets.”

Event details are available at

All New Virtual Triangle Career Expo!

The region’s workforce development partners are hosting the Triangle Career Expo on October 8th from 9 am to 2 pm using Premier Virtual.

Several large and small employers have already signed up including Credit Suisse, Advance Auto Parts, Duke University and Duke Health and Wegmans.  Available positions include entry to professional level jobs…something for everyone!  Information technology, healthcare, skilled trades, food service and much more.

Job seekers are encouraged to sign up early, create a profile at Premier Virtual, and research available jobs with participating employers before the event.

Full details including registration links for job seekers and employers can be found at

Sign up today!

CAWD Announces First Ever Recipients of “Wake Partners” Grant

Fourteen nonprofits awarded grants to aid individuals affected by COVID-19

Capital Area Workforce Development is happy to announce that it will fund 14 projects for community-based organizations through the new “Wake Partners” grant program. Awards total just over $800,000 and will be used to help Wake County citizens affected by COVID-19 with workforce development related activities. “Wake Partners” is possible through a partnership with Wake County Government and county commissioners using funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“The amount of interest expressed by the nonprofit community in this funding really brought home how coronavirus is affecting our residents, both directly and indirectly. From housing to food to education, this pandemic is disturbing family stability like never before,” said Pat Sturdivant, Executive Director at CAWD. “The Wake partners funding provides additional support for residents to access workforce development services as well as remove some of the barriers caused by COVID -19.”

CAWD received 45 applications during the short application period. Priority was given to those that supported job readiness, education delivery and instructional support, and support services necessary to eliminate barriers to employment.

The following organizations received grants:

Centre for Homeownership (CHOEDC)

Community of Hope Ministries

Community Success Initiative, Inc.

Dorcas Ministries

Dress for Success Triangle NC

Haven House

Jobs for Life

Justice Served NC

Fathers Forever

Triangle Literacy Council

Interfaith Prison Ministry for Women

Passage Home

Urban Ministries of Wake County

Wake Forest Area Chamber Foundation

Information Technology Apprenticeship Program is Recruiting!

Capital Area Workforce Development is looking for qualified candidates to participate in the ISG Information Technology Apprenticeship Program (ITAP).
The goal of the program is to combine classroom learning with real-world experience so students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful IT professionals.
We are seeking 15–20 committed young women and men residing in Wake County between the ages of 18–30 who have an interest in technology.
Participants may be eligible to receive a stipend of $10 per hour for the duration of the program. We welcome individuals of diverse backgrounds that meet the following criteria:
–Wake County Resident
–Between 18–30 years of age
–Ability to pass a background check
–High School Diploma or equivalency
–Availability to commit to training
To learn more and apply, click here.
For additional help, contact the program coordinator at or call 919-824-4966.


Career Center Reopening Plan Underway

CAWD is working with our partners on a plan to reopen NCWorks Career centers at Tillery Place in Raleigh and Clayton to the public soon. Staff returned to the centers on July 13th and are using established protocols for personal health and safety and preparing for the public’s return. New signage with safety information and instructions for customers while onsite have been installed in addition to sneeze guards at computer stations.

If all goes according to plan, the centers will reopen at reduced capacity in late July or early August.  Since NC Commerce is a major partner in center operations, the exact date for opening to the public will be influenced by guidance from the state. Career centers located in Wake County’s regional centers will reopen on the county’s schedule.

Emergency Funds for Youth Employment

The 3-month average rate of unemployment claims by individuals under the age of 25 was 18%. Many youth and young adults work in the hospitality industry which was hardest hit by Covid. CAWD applied to Wake County government for emergency funds that will help young people transition into jobs with better career potential. The funding will be used specifically for electrical  and information technology training, and apprenticeships.

Raleigh-Durham Joint Apprenticeship Task Committee (JATC) has a pre-apprenticeship program that introduces youth, women and people of color to the electrical profession. Training is a hybrid model with an online component alternated with in-person training to allow for social distancing. Students will also complete training hours with local employers. When complete, they will be considered for a Registered Apprenticeship with IBEW members that includes full-time pay and continued training.

ISG has developed ITAP (Information Technology Apprenticeship Program) to help young people gain entry-level knowledge in the IT field. This program is a gateway into IT and possibly Cyber Security careers for those with an interest and aptitude for the work. The curriculum covers foundational knowledge in IT and will include assistance with sought after certificates in CompTIA. Training will primarily be online to allow for at-home learning. Upon completion, participants will be prepared to continue their education in higher skilled areas such as a Cyber Security Apprenticeship or entry level IT employment.

IBM Selects CAWD for Project Re-Ignite

CAWD was one of 10 organizations in the nation selected by IBM as a partner for their Re-Ignite initiative. The goal of Re-Ignite is to minimize the impacts of the pandemic by speeding up the recovery of local workforces, communities and economies. We were selected because we have a firm grasp off the region’s workforce/economic development ecosystem and have an existing focus on vulnerable communities.

One element of Re-Ignite is SkillsBuild, a platform IBM created to equip job seekers with professional skills needed in a digital world. In addition to technical training, there are modules to acquaints users with new ways of working such as Agile and Design Thinking. It also introduces them to new technologies such as AI and Blockchain.  As a service to businesses, companies can receive individualized support to address key business challenges, opportunities and strategies for development of re-launch plans, and much more.

CAWD plans to incorporate IBM’s SkillsBuild platform into service offerings at the career centers for customers enrolled in WIOA programs, and those who are not. This partnership has the ability to produce a long-lasting impact on workers and businesses in the Triangle.