Certified Work Ready Communities

Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) was launched to help address this growing skills gap. The collaborative effort includes the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, the Office of the Governor, the North

Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Community College System. The NC Chamber Foundation serves as the final certifying body to designate a county Certified Work Ready.

With local collaboration and an engaged business community, CWRC is expanding quickly, with employers, job-seekers and economic developers alike seeing great returns. Counties applying for certification form similar collaborative partnerships with local chambers of commerce, local workforce development boards, public schools, community colleges and business leaders. Together they create the framework for achieving certification goals, including increasing high school graduation rates, the number of National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) and employer engagement.

Counties that wish to apply to become a Certified Work Ready Community may download the application packet here. For questions about the application process, please contact Cheryl Cox at the NC Department of Public Instruction.

HIRE Standards

High academic standards are critical to preparing all of North Carolina’s students to compete for—and succeed in—today’s jobs. HIRE Standards, NC is a coalition with representatives from nearly 100 organizations representing the voices of North Carolina’s business leaders and local chambers of commerce, joined in solidarity with our military, teachers, police chiefs and parents, all committed to guaranteeing that our students have the opportunity to succeed in K-12 and after graduation. Higher standards in our classrooms truly are “hire standards” – our expectations for what our students need to know and be able to do to ensure our economy grows, our communities thrive and our students can succeed in high-wage, local jobs. Employers need students who have strong fundamental knowledge and problem-solving skills to meet the challenging demands of today’s workforce. North Carolina’s higher standards are essential to provide this foundation for our students.

Keeping Score

It is important to that we measure the progress on our long-term vision for our state. With that in mind, there are reports, surveys and processes in place to be able to measure the progress toward the goals outlined in North Carolina Vision 2030.

An online tool, Dashboard 2030 provides real-time measurement of key metrics of success and transparency to state leaders for consistent progress and continuous improvement.

Since 2014, the NC Chamber Foundation has released the Competitiveness Redbook index annually to provide readers with a data-driven guide to North Carolina’s economic health by comparing the state to the rest of the country in a variety of key indicators.

For the first time in 2017, North Carolina Vision 2030 Progress Assessment provides an update on each metric outlined in North Carolina Vision 2030. This piece demonstrates where our state stood when Vision 2030 was launched and provides an update on where North Carolina stands today.

The State of Our Workforce

The State of Our Workforce is a regional initiative with statewide ramifications that aims to help stakeholders better understand their workforce challenges by providing data specific to their area. It was launched first as a local study in the Triangle by the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, City of Raleigh, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Wake County Economic Development and others. Now, building on the great work of those organizations, the North Carolina Chamber Foundation is scaling the program statewide.

Results of the survey will be used to inform policymakers and stakeholders about the realities of workforce development in our region and across the state, improve both short- and long-term hiring needs, develop an effective cradle-to-career talent pipeline, and create an efficient structure for ongoing industry feedback. The State of Our Workforce will help identify solutions to close the skills gap and improve the workforce pipeline—which will ensure that companies across North Carolina have the talent they need to succeed. With the data provided from this analysis, we can better align education systems, economic development initiatives, and business needs so our state can continue to grow and thrive.