This year marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of Centralina Regional Council, formerly known as Centralina Council of Governments. Over the last five and a half decades, our organization has helped support the growth and prosperity of our region through various projects and initiatives. In honor of this historic year, we’re looking back at how our organization has evolved to where it is today.
On June 8, 2023, the Iredell Industry & Education Alliance, a collaboration of private and public sector leaders, launched Iredell Ready, a county-wide workforce initiative designed to help students and residents, K-12 through retirement age, identify opportunities to pursue individual career pathways and employment with industries in Iredell County. This collaborative effort helps to promote lifelong learning and helps to close an existing skills gap for Iredell County employers.
Centralina Regional Council is a regional organization focused on addressing the needs of member communities in our nine-county area and working collaboratively on issues that impact our region. We examine national, state and local trends impacting our member governments and identify their potential impacts to determine best practices for meeting needs and addressing challenges. This brief dives into current regional trends and how they are currently being addressed by Centralina, as well as how they will continue to be addressed in upcoming years.
Studies conducted by the National Association of Manufacturing show that nearly 2.1 million jobs could remain unfilled by 2030 due to the lack of skills within the manufacturing industry. Leaders in Rowan and Cabarrus County took note of these skill gap discrepancies and recognized a need to address recruitment issues head-on in order to keep the industry growing and competitive with the community. In response, both counties banded together to develop The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, a training program that teaches individuals essential skills to work in a full-time manufacturing industry job.
Access to transportation options is critical to enhancing the quality of life of residents throughout our region. Without it, individuals may struggle to attain essential goods and services they need to thrive. A group that is particularly affected by the lack of options is workers and job seekers. Learn how Centralina Workforce and some of their partners helped one job seeker find reliable transportation to help them grow and advance their career path.
On February 28th and March 1st, the North Carolina Association of Workforce Boards and it’s Executive Directors Council, in partnership with the NCWorks Training Center and NC Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions, hosted the very first NC Youth Forum in Greensboro, NC. This first-of-its-kind training event allowed over 150 youth leads and youth service providers the opportunity to network and learn best practices from others working in the field. Our very own Centralina Workforce Development Board NextGen Program Leader, Solomon McAuley, presented a workshop on youth engagement. His presentation dove deep into what the term means, how it’s evolving and how leaders can consistently empower and encourage youth and young adults across our state.
Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) pursues volunteerism all year round through their annual “Centralina Year of Giving” initiative. As we celebrate National Volunteer Month, we’re highlighting several of the volunteer efforts WDB provided throughout the region this past year.
Lake Norman Economic Development is a nonprofit focused on increasing economic outcomes in the community by addressing workforce gaps. In 2022, it received the 2021 Cross Community Collaboration Award (small community) for its Journey 360 program and virtual speed networking events that were developed to address workforce trends and provide high school students with educational opportunities.
The onset of the COVID-19 created a shift in employment causing record-high job losses across the nation. However, now that the world has returned to normal operations, employers have reported difficulty finding the workers they need to fill open positions. Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) and our NCWorks team worked together to help provide a solution.