Category Archives: Blog Post

All New Youth Advisory Councils

CAWD has formed all new youth advisory councils. Each county we serve will have their own council. The mission of each council is to promote a continuum of services for youth and young adults by supporting comprehensive, integrated models of educational, developmental, and employment-related services.

The focus is an education-to-career system where every young person can

  • Graduate form high school
  • Engage in work experiences
  • Obtain a post-secondary credential
  • Secure living wage work.

A unique aspect of the councils is the inclusion of leaders from across the county that work with young people, including K12, community colleges, juvenile justice, social services, and community-based organizations.

County-wide strategies will be developed to improve the success rate of youth entering well-paying, sustainable careers.

Business Outreach and Support

WARN notices filed with the state as of April 8th reflect 825 workers have been affected by layoffs or business closures in Wake county. The majority of those, based on the type of business, were likely due to COVID-19. (No Johnston county businesses were listed.)

This number is actually far greater since many businesses aren’t required to file a notice. However, additional businesses have been identified by the business engagement team as at-risk or already taking steps to layoff. Outreach is underway to provide support, including online Rapid Response sessions to share resources and information with employees.

Business that are still hiring despite the current climate continue to be supported, including Bland Landscaping, AAFlanders, and Amazon. The career center hosted five information sessions for Amazon that were attended by over 300 job seekers. There were also four new hire orientations that resulted in 117 placements (pending drug screen and background check).

The Amazon team expressed a desire to strengthen their partnership with the career center which is what we want to hear from all businesses!

Reentry Increasing in Importance

The governor has been asked to consider commuting sentences for some inmates to reduce the spread of CV-19 within correctional facilities. CAWD’s reentry team is managing projects with this possibility in mind and is making great strides.

CAWD is the new intermediary agency for Wake’s local reentry council! was recently launched to promote the council, identify new partners, and pull together more service providers that specialize in this population. The site is also a vehicle to receive referrals from providers, friends and family of ex-offenders, and self-referrals.

We are also preparing the formerly incarcerated for the job market with “Roads to Reentry.” This grant-funded initiative operates in Wake and Johnston county facilities. After meeting with leadership and staff at Johnston Correctional Center, including the warden and superintendent of programs, our team is approved to hold information sessions at the facility once a month. The team also completed Wake County PREA Training, a prerequisite for being able to direct services inside the Wake Detention Center.

CAWD already had an existing working relationship with Wake Correctional centers, so the addition of Johnston allows us to successfully serve customers in both counties.

Individuals served by Roads to Reentry to date:
**Total Served: 22 => Wake 13 / Johnston -9
**Credentials Earned: 19 => Wake 18 / Johnston 1

Download the Wake LRC Information Flyer

Innovative Thinking Pays Off

No one could see the pandemic coming. While its effects are being felt by every company and organization, CAWD was able to pivot quickly in the area of customer service thanks to roll-out of about 18 months ago.

When it became necessary to close the career centers to the public, we were able to push customers to Access NCWorks as a means of receiving help or staff assistance with their job search. We say Access NCWorks is more of a contact center than a call center because we do more than field customer calls. Staff can complete some program applications online for jobseekers, provide counseling, initial assessments and center orientations, as well as support jobseekers enrollment in NCWorks Online.

Companies can also connect with business service consultants via Access NCWorks to find solutions for their workforce needs.

Here is a summary of virtual service delivery for March.

NextGen Centers Add Virtual Learning

Virtual reality (VR) technology addresses two areas of need when it comes to youth. First is their deficiency of work experience and life skills. Second is the need to make NCWorks NextGen services more attractive to young people.

Currently the technology simulates real life interactions that promote positive behavior during mock interviews and also teaches conflict resolution. We hope to add career exploration scenarios soon. Too keep pace with ever-changing industry demands, VR can facilitate faster development of new skills which in turn enables individuals to learn more efficiently.

A 2016 study found that the passing rate for groups that engaged with test subject matter in VR was 90%, while the pass rate for the no-VR group–studying the same material–was only 40%.

CAWD is the only board using VR to impact youth outcomes.

New Tech to Help Center Efficiency

Many customers who enter NCWorks Career Centers head straight to a computer without ever checking in with staff. As a result, they are excluded from the customer count. CAWD is adding an electronic greeting system to center entrances to get a more accurate customer count and to correct other inefficiencies.

In addition to getting a more accurate count, VOS greeter sends immediate notifications to staff when a customer checks in to see them. If visiting the center for the first time, staff can help the customer identify additional services for which they may be eligible, a step that is missed when individuals perform self-service on their own.

A training session for all center staff will be held on February 7th and a full equipment launch is scheduled for early March.

The Hospitality Job Fair is Back!

The Wake County Hospitality Job Fair is being held on April 2nd at the Raleigh Convention Center from 10 am – 2 pm. Some of the area’s most popular hotels, restaurants, and others offering food service will try to fill thousands of jobs in this fast-growing industry.

These jobs are perfect for those looking for flexible schedules on a full or part-time basis. Students, retirees, reentry participants and anyone looking for long-term career potential should attend.

This is the 3rd year that we have partnered with the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, NC Restaurant & Lodging Association and the City of Raleigh for this event.

For more information, visit

Feel free to download and print the event flyer for customers and clients.

Job seeker flyers

New Executive Committee

Capital Area Workforce Development Board is pleased to announce that Brian Holland, general counsel for Global Knowledge, has been appointed board chair.  He has served on the board for 5 years and previously held the position of vice chair. Brian’s appointment comes after the retirement of Stephen Miller of Novo Nordisk who served on the board since 2014 and was appointed chair in 2019.

Rodney Carson of SAS is the board’s new vice chair. Rodney has served on the board over 3 years and is also vice president of the NC Association of Workforce Boards.

Tom White, director of the NC State University Economic Development Partnership, was appointed secretary last year and will remain in the role.

CAWD Annual Holiday Breakfast

As a kick-off to the holidays, CAWD held the annual holiday breakfast and board meeting! We brought our partners together to celebrate under a theme of “better together.” It was a chance to reflect on our combined successes, enhance relationships, and learn where we’re heading as state. Thanks to everyone that came out, including three Wake County commissioners and some terrific presenters. Great work is being done in the capital area to make sure that the workforce remains as competitive as possible! Happy Holidays, everyone!