There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the skills gap, but there is one guiding principle we subscribe to: local leadership and solutions get the best results. Members of our NC Chamber Federation of local chambers of commerce are taking that to heart in Kernersville and Wake Forest with two innovative programs that are helping bridge the gap between businesses and students who make up their workforce of tomorrow.
The Kernersville Chamber of Commerce is launching a new program with a three-pronged mission: connect local businesses to students, connect students to the skilled trades, and connect young people with their communities to help showcase the opportunities available in their hometown. Kernersville Connects will help juniors and seniors at East Forsyth and Glenn High Schools find paid internship opportunities with participating businesses after completing a soft skills training.
Before their internships, where they’ll gain real-world experience with local companies, students will get to attend a signing ceremony. Much like signing ceremonies for athletics programs at four-year universities, the Kernersville Connects signing ceremony will be a true celebration for these students and a chance to highlight the opportunities they’re unlocking for their futures. Connecting students to the skilled trades through a paid internship is a powerful way to build a stronger pipeline of talent in Kernersville and we are excited to watch Kernersville Connects develop. Businesses that are interested in participating should contact the Kernersville Chamber here.
Wake Forest Career Readiness Academy
Hosted by the Wake Forest Chamber Foundation for Common Progress, theWake Forest Career Readiness Academy is an intensive program for high school students to develop job readiness/soft skills, gain real-world experience through an internship with a local business, and learn about financial literacy. Through eight monthly leadership and job training sessions and one semester-long internship, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to go beyond their classrooms and hone the skills they’ll need to succeed in the future workforce.
As a testament to this program, the Wake Forest Career Readiness Academy was one of only five programs throughout the country to win a grant from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Career Readiness Lab in 2018 to implement work-based learning programs in their area. This recognition has major impacts for Wake Forest students: this exciting program is completely free of cost.
There are over 60 students from 8 different high schools participating in this year’s Career Readiness Academy and applications will become available in January. Businesses in the Wake Forest area who are interested in getting involved can learn more here.