Strategies, Tools, And Resources To Navigate Opportunities at Work

What does it mean?

The Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board’s STARTNOW initiative is a way for local Small Businesses and Job Seekers to have success today with work-based learning. It provides the tools, strategies and resources for Small Businesses and Individuals to grow and prosper.


We will help screen and identify prospective candidates with matching skills and match them with open positions.


We will provide Small Businesses with Work Based learning programs such as On-the-Job-Training (OJT), Incumbent Worker Training (IWT), Re-Entry Employment Services, Substance Use Recovery Services and Entrepreneurial Training resources.

  • On-the-Job-Training (OJT) for new hires who may be a good candidate but may be lacking some skill sets needed for effectively working the job.
  • Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) helps businesses offset training costs while filling skilled positions and creating new job opportunities. Employers receive assistance with recruiting talent, while creating a viable pathway for unemployed workers.
  • Re-Entry Employment Services to give justice involved a second chance at employment.
  • Substance Use Recovery Services (Project CARE) provides resources through our NCWorks Career Centers for comprehensive assistance with recovery and employment.
  • Entrepreneurial Training to cultivate a mindset that exposes opportunities and ignite ambition. This is crucial to the entrepreneur and enhances any working environment.
Targeted Businesses

The STARTNOW initiative targets businesses with 25 or less employees to include Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), veteran, female, minority, or persons with disability owned businesses in our nine-county region.

Targeted Individuals

We are looking for work-aged individuals needing a family-sustaining career, who have circumstances which may be a barrier to that hope.

Who pays for it?

This is funded by a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It pays for the OJT, needed solutions for the individuals such as childcare, transportation, etc. and up to 75% of the new hire’s salary while in training.

What counties in Eastern North Carolina are included?

Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayne Counties.

End result?

This is a Win-Win-Win for everyone. For Small Businesses who are having staffing challenges, it provides them with a workforce. For hopeful job-seekers who may not have the skills, or may have other barriers, it provides them with an opportunity for a family-sustaining career. And when you have businesses who are successful and a workforce who is gainfully employed, the economy becomes healthy again and everyone prospers.

START NOW by contacting us!

For Business Owners:

For Job Seekers:

Fill out the appropriate form above, contact the ECWDB office, or reach out to Erik Heck directly if you have any questions or would like to get started!

Erik Heck, Business Services Representative for ECWDB

mobile: (910) 386-3785


Or scan the QR code below for a digital contact card.