Skip to content

Get Connected & Stay Informed

Access networks, knowledge, and a team of professionals dedicated to helping you thrive.

Lower Your Business Expenses

Save money on small business health and dental services, credit card processing fees, workers’ comp coverage and more.

Increase Your Community Impact

Successful businesses create successful communities and we are passionate about both. Get informed, get engaged, and make your voice heard.

We do have vocational programming. It's called Career and Technical Education...

We do have vocational programming. It's called Career and Technical Education...

"We do have vocational programming. It's called Career and Technical Education..."

By Katie Loovis on February 1, 2022

Last week, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt, shared that business owners often say they wish the state would bring back vocational programming, like wood shop and auto repair. Truitt reminds them and all of us that NC has vocational programming, and its called CTE: Career and Technical Education.

CTE is an important part of the larger workforce development system in NC, is designed for all students to develop real-world skills and practical knowledge, and is an easy entre for employers to recruit talent and build their future talent pipeline.

In Orange County, we have two school systems (Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools) and both systems have robust CTE departments. The CTE teams deliver programming that prepares our local students for immediate employment or to continue studies in their desired career path at a college or university. For example: 

  • Orange County Schools CTE has seven program areas with 24 pathways. The program areas are: 1) Agriculture, 2) Business, Finance, and Marketing, 3) Computer Science & Information Technology, 4) Family Consumer Services, and 5) Health Science, 6) Career Development, and 7) Trade, Technology, Engineering, and Industrial (includes Project Lead the Way Engineering, Public Safety, Fire Technology, Law & Justice, Construction Technology, and Woodworking).
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools CTE has six program areas with 16 career pathways. The pathways are: 1) Adobe, 2) Architectural Design, 3) AP Computer Sciences, 4) Audio & Video Production, 5) Automotive Services, 5) Biomedical Sciences, 6) Business, 7) Cisco Network Engineering, 8) Community Spanish Interpreter, 9) Computer Engineering Technologies, 10) Culinary Arts, 11) Drone Technology, 12) Fashion Design, 13) Food and Nutrition, 14) Game Design, 14) Marketing, 15) Public Safety: Firefighting & EMT, and 16) STEM Engineering.  

The pandemic and ongoing workforce challenges have created urgency and momentum throughout the state to better connect business and industry with educational and workforce training partners. This issue was discussed in-depth on a recent workforce webinar called, How K-12 Education Fuels NC's Competitive Success, which featured NC Chamber President and CEO, Gary Salamido, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, and was moderated by EdNC CEO and Editor in Chief, Mebane Rash.

Local Workforce Resources

The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro is doing our part to help our members and all local employers make sense of the many workforce resources available, connect to the tens of thousands of dollars in cash and in-kind services available to help their business, and engage in improving their talent pipeline. Some resources worth reviewing are:  

  • The Workforce ForumWatch the video, read the summary, and/or review the slides from this timely forum, which featured business leaders who are aligned with the workforce system, making it work for their companies, and generating bottom line results. (I presented at this forum and happy to answer any questions.)
  • Talent Pipeline Management InitiativeMake sense of the workforce system and make the most of it for your business through the US Chamber Foundation's Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Initiative. Take your knowledge and practice to the next level with the TPM Academy.  (I am a graduate of the Academy and apply the valuable insights I learned on a daily basis. I encourage anyone interested to apply!)

  • Summer Careers AcademyKeep an eye on the Summer Careers Academy, which is a new program that will connect students (ages 16-24) to new skills and paid work experiences in the construction trades this summer, and then expand to additional industries in subsequent years. (I am a Steering Committee member and invite your feedback and engagement.)

  • Joint Business Advisory CouncilKnow that the Orange County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Districts have a joint Business Advisory Council and the members provide advice to the school boards on existing and future CTE programming. (I am the new Vice Chair and excited to represent your local business interests.)

Local Workforce Contacts 

The following is a list of local workforce organizations that manage resources and provide services to help employers recruit, train, and retain employees.

Like what you read? Read more on "Our Voice"  

Powered By GrowthZone