Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: email@example.com
A new work-force recovery program in North Carolina aims to train the unemployed in needed job skills and get them back to work in just six months.
Since the recession's start, North Carolina's employers have eliminated more than 175,000 jobs. Responding to the state's need to get people back to work, the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the state Community College System have launched a new workforce development initiative, dubbed "12 in 6." The initiative, which is part Governor Bev Perdue's larger job creation initiative JobsNOW, will create community college programs in 12 careers that each require less than six months to complete. The 12 career options fall within the areas of health care and technical education, such as nursing assistants, carpenters and auto body repairmen. Colleges will have the flexibility to identify additional short-term occupational training options to meet local/regional labor market demands. About $13.4 million in federal stimulus funds has been allocated to the program, which will be available at all 58 community colleges by the end of September. Employment Security Commission offices and career centers will connect job seekers with the training programs. Similarly, New Mexico recently offered laid-off carpenters, painters, welders, sheet-metal fabricators and landscapers a chance to transition their skills into job opportunities in the New Mexico film industry. The program is called "Retrain and Sustain."