Career Pathways

WIOA defines the term ‘‘career pathway’’ as a combination of rigorous and high-quality education, training, and other services that:

  • aligns with the skill needs of industries in the economy of the State or regional economy involved;
  • prepares an individual to be successful in any of a full range of secondary or postsecondary education options, including apprenticeships registered under the Act of August 16, 1937 (commonly known as the ‘‘National Apprenticeship Act’’; 50 Stat. 664, chapter 663; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.) (referred to individually in this Act as an ‘‘apprenticeship’’, except in section 171);
  • includes counseling to support an individual in achieving the individual’s education and career goals;
  • includes, as appropriate, education offered concurrently with and in the same context as workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster;
  • organizes education, training, and other services to meet the particular needs of an individual in a manner that accelerates the educational and career advancement of the individual to the extent practicable;
  • enables an individual to attain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and at least 1 recognized postsecondary credential; and
  • helps an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster.

Contact your high school guidance counselor or your local NCWorks Career Center to find out how you can begin your career pathway today!

NCWorks Career Pathways UPDATE

The ECWDB is proud to announce that we now have 3 career pathways that have been certified by the NCWorks Commission: Health Science, Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics! The certifications were made possible by the great work and collaboration that is going on in our region. Regional K-12 schools, all 7 community colleges, workforce and economic development partners and employers partnered to complete the applications showcasing how each pathway meets the 8 Best Practice Criteria. Keep a look out for certified career pathways and career awareness events in your area.

The NCWorks Commission no longer certifies regional career pathways. As of PY 2019, certification is voted on by each Workforce Development Board and submitted to the NCWorks Commission for their endorsement. However, much work still goes into the creation of each career pathway such as frequent employer forums and collaboration. Recently, two more career pathways were certified by the ECWDB and endorsed by the NCWorks Commission: Aerospace & Aviation and Construction & Skilled Trades.

Please refer to the Documents section of this page to find a list of Career Pathway Maps.

To learn more about regional Career Pathways and NCWorks Certified Career Pathways, click here.

Traitify is Here!

The ECWDB has launched Traitify in the Southeast Prosperity Zone. Traitify is a quick (90 seconds) and easy work-based career assessment that is designed to measure personality traits. The personality data gathered identifies specific aspects of how someone works, the type of work they would enjoy and even includes details such as which personalities they would work well with and those that may pose a conflict. To try Traitify for yourself, please visit:

NC Career Clusters Guide Goes Interactive

The NC Career Clusters Guide has been enhanced and built into an interactive web tool. Included in this new online guide are a live Interest Profiler Assessment and connections to Reality Check and Star Jobs. You can also access the NC Career Clusters Guide as a downloadable PDF and the Mini Career Clusters Handbook "What's Next?"If you are unsure of which career field to go into, these tools can help you in your search.