In July of 2020, Carteret Community College received $523,482 from Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board through a federally-funded program called the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA). The funding will be used to assist individuals in gaining and/or maintaining employment and increasing their earnings.
The WIOA program offers tuition assistance for curriculum programs and training assistance for short-term training programs that lead directly to jobs identified as “in demand” in the labor market. Training programs can include classroom and online training, on-the-job training, internships, or apprenticeships.
The WIOA program offers various employment services such as assistance with job leads and labor market information, resume assistance, education and career assessments, employment readiness and job search workshops, career counseling and career planning, supportive services, and intensive job search assistance. Other services include childcare and transportation assistance for students.
“Carteret Community College is pleased to receive the funding to help the individuals in our community who may have barriers to employment,” said Perry Harker, Vice President of Corporate and Community Education. “This funding will help us assist those youth, adults or dislocated workers to help them get the training they need to have meaningful employment.”
The WIOA Youth program assists individuals, ages 16-24, who face significant barriers to success in the labor market, by providing resources and support to overcome those barriers and successfully transition to self-sufficient adulthood. Youth who face barriers such as being basic skills deficient; are foster child; are a school dropout; are pregnant or parent; are homeless or runaway; are low income and basic skills deficient or English as a second language learner are eligible for the program.
Makayla Gaitan, a Carteret CC Adult High School graduate, applied for the WIOA Youth program while completing her high school diploma. Through WIOA she was able to get a job at the Boys and Girls Club where she worked with children. “I love working with children and I want to help people,” said Gaitan. “I feel like I can make a difference through social work.” Now, as a college student in her second year of the Human Services Technology program, Gaitan is a WIOA worker employed at Carteret CC as the Retention and Counseling Services Assistant. “I owe a lot to the WIOA program,” said Gaitan. “Not only did the program get me back to work in the field I’m interested in, but it’s made me more passionate and motivated to pursue this type of career.”
The WIOA Dislocated Workers program serves individuals who have been impacted by plant closures, military relocation for spouses, workforce reductions, and natural disasters that lead to job loss. The goal is to provide dislocated workers with the tools and support needed to obtain credentials and occupational skills leading to jobs in high-growth industries and high-demand occupations.
The WIOA Adult program serves individuals ages 18 and older who do not meet eligibility criteria for the Youth or Dislocated Worker programs. The goals of the Adult program are to improve the quality of the adult workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the local workforce. The program provides adults with workforce preparation, career services, training services and job placement assistance needed to increase occupational skill attainment, obtain industry recognized credentials, and secure employment that provides earnings that lead to self-sufficiency.
Lastly, Carteret Community College has funding available through the Finish Line Grant to provide students with financial assistance for emergencies such as unexpected healthcare costs, childcare expenses, car repairs, utility disconnections and other emergencies that prevent community college students who are on the cusp of completion from reaching that milestone. Students who are enrolled in community colleges across North Carolina are eligible for services if students are in good academic standing and have completed (or enrolled in) at least 50% of their degree or credential program.
“I encourage individuals who feel they may qualify for these programs and are interested in learning more to reach out to us,” said Harker. “These programs will help defray the cost of education and truly will change the lives of those who take advantage of the programs.”
For more information about these programs and eligibility criteria, contact a WIOA representative:
The Carteret County NC Works office at (252) 726-7151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie Reels, Director of Workforce Readiness at Carteret CC, at 252-222-6204 or email@example.com.