The “skills gap,” as you well know, refers to the growing disparity between the diverse, adaptable skillsets modern job creators need and the more traditional skillsets possessed by many new graduates and other current job seekers. To help our state address its skills gap challenge, the NC Chamber and NC Chamber Foundation are currently exploring new avenues that will allow employers to more actively drive initiatives to raise access to high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for North Carolina students.
Recently in March, the Chamber Foundation released its Spreading Economic Opportunity Across North Carolina report which, among other recommendations, calls for the formation of a number of apprenticeships based on proven German/Swiss models in North Carolina by 2019. In addition, the report calls for the establishment by Dec. 2017 of a statewide program that puts business leaders into schools in targeted nonurban communities where they will work closely with educators and guidance counselors to provide students with information on the latest workforce development opportunities available to them.
The NC Chamber team is looking forward to building on these proposals when we attend the NCWorks Apprenticeship Conference in Greensboro on Oct. 4 and 5. As a number of major workforce development organizations specifically highlighted in the Spreading Economic Opportunity Across North Carolina report are also directly involved in this event – including the NC Department of Commerce – and with various Chamber members participating as featured employers, we are particularly excited to have this opportunity to share new ideas to continue fleshing out the priorities contained in the report. Visit the Department of Commerce’s official event page to learn more about the event, or register today to take an active role in moving the apprenticeship conversation forward in North Carolina.
Contact Cassi Zumbiel at email@example.com if you would like to learn more about the work of the NC Chamber Foundation and the Spreading Economic Opportunity Across North Carolina report.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber