Category Archives: Raleigh Center News

Backpacks-2-Briefcases Helps Recent Grads Find Jobs

It’s no secret that the education system doesn’t really give students real-world jobs skills. Add to that the challenge of transitioning from 12-16 years as a student to a life with a different set of rules and expectations. What most employers want is someone with experience who can hit the ground running, a quality most recent grads lack.

Brittany Sands’ problem as a recent grad was not unique. She graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s in Clinical Research. Unable to land a job in her field, she took a cashier job at CVS. While researching internships, she came across the Backpacks-to-Briefcases program. As a participant, she learned how to improve her resume, interview skills, and presentation skills. Everything learned was put into practice at a job fair organized specifically for participants. There, Brittany was offered a paid internship by Premier Research where she received valuable work experience while the program paid her wages. When the internship ended, she was hired full-time as a Procurement Strategic Sourcing Specialist.

Backpacks-to-Briefcases was first created in 2012 as a CAWD youth program. It was designed specifically to give college graduates the right combination of knowledge, skills, and practical experience to enter the job market, while mitigating training expenses employers. Eighty-six participants were placed at that time. In 2015, it was expanded as Backpacks-2-Briefcases 2.0 in partnership with NC State University, CAWD, and a $386,000 grant by Duke Energy Foundation.

Workforce development programs like Backpacks-to-Briefcases are indicative of the innovative solutions such collaborations can achieve. Participants like Brittany get a foot in the door in order to begin good careers and businesses find people with the skills they need.

To learn more about the program, contact the Capital Area Youth & Young Adult Center at
919-758-8453.

TechHire

TechHire is for individuals aged 17-29 looking to go into information technology and cyber security careers. These are high-skill / high-demand occupations with established career pathways.  In North Carolina, Computer User Support Specialist enjoy a median wage of $46,670. From there one can become a Computer Network Support Specialist ($57,970), Network and Computer Systems Administrator ($75,130), and Computer Network Architect ($100,800).

With additional training and experience, the pathway can lead to Computer and Information Systems Manager (NC Median Wage $124,420), Computer Systems Analyst ($84,640), and Information Security Analyst ($86,180).

Those interested should visit TriangleTechHire.com and complete the contact form to learn more.

Working Smart Soft Skills Training

Soft skills are the intangible personal qualities that employers want in workers; dependability,  work ethic, positive attitude, flexibility, team-oriented, and able to work under pressure.  Now job candidates can prove they have the soft skills employers desire most.

Working Smart, a 16-lesson soft skills curriculum taught over a minimum of 24 hours. Participants receive certificates only after they demonstrate competency using self-awareness, self-management, communication, and problem-solving skills. They must also demonstrate aptitude in work ethic.

The first class begins May 9th at the NCWorks Career Center at Tillery Place in Raleigh. Participants must register online at NCWorks.gov and attend all sessions.

Train to Work at HCL

The Center and Wake Tech are working together to recruit candidates for HCL America, a global technology company located in Cary. Individuals with customer service experience are ideal candidates, even without an IT background.

Job seekers can take an HCL assessment at the Center to see if they are suited to enter training. The training takes place at Wake Tech’s campus in Cary where candidates earn a telecommunications certificate. After training, students have the opportunity to interview with HCL and the certificate also makes the individual a more competitive candidate for other jobs and employers.

Those interested in this opportunity must email their resume to jennifer.j.edwards@rescare.com who will schedule a time to take the assessment. This is a great way start a career in the growing field of IT!

8000+ Served and Counting

This quarter, more than 8000 individuals received services through the Raleigh Center!  Many also used NCWorks online in their job search. Over 2500 resumes were added and about 700 people created “virtual recruiters.” Virtual recruiter is a unique feature of the system that runs job search criteria automatically based on rules set by the user. Over 12, 000 job referrals were made for the quarter! Anyone can use NCWorks online by registering at NCWorks.gov.

Men Get Suited Up

SuitUP recently partnered with the Center to “suit up” men in preparation for the WRAL Capital Area Career Expo. A faith-based non-profit, SuitUp took measurements and provided tailoring for customer here at the Center. SuitUP partners with many workforce and community agencies to help men in transition. We can’t wait to hear the success stories from this fantastic partnership.

New Neighbor – Dress for Success!

Dress for Success now operates a location in the Tillery Place shopping center. Our new neighbor provides disadvantaged women professional attire and additional support and tools to help them thrive in the workplace and in life. Members of Americorps Access Workforce Development, some of whom serve our Center, were instrumental in preparing DFS for opening. Center customers who have need can be referred to DFS by our staff.