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.
On March 31, 2022, NCWorks Career Center-Cabarrus and partners held a reentry event designed to simulate one month in the life of someone who has just been released from prison, navigating their way through the system while trying to comply with all the requirements of supervised release. This event provided an opportunity for over 70 individuals associated with our service providers, non-profits, government, health and human services and workforce partners to experience the barriers one faces when getting reestablished after returning from incarceration, treatment and/or homelessness.
In early November 2021, Catreana Harris rang the bell at NCWorks Career Center-Stanly after obtaining employment. Ringing the bell recognizes the career seekers who have been able to obtain a job. Before this, Catreana had lost her position as a home health aide due to physical health conditions that prevented her from heavy lifting. Catreana needed to find a new way to financially support herself and sought employment assistance from NCWorks Career Center in Albemarle. The NCWorks staff looked for new ways to apply her passion for healthcare and medical skills background to a related field.
On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) celebrated the opening of its Opportunity Site, housed in the HOLLA! Community Resource and Community Development Center, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services and programs that aid in increasing the test scores of youth so that they are better equipped to make positive contribution to the community and society.
As the Center Leader of the NCWorks Career Center-Union, Thomas Foster insists that there isn’t a day where his team doesn’t have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. That statement proved itself true on a hot and sunny summer day when he had the opportunity to meet an individual whose life was positively impacted thanks to NCWorks Career Center services. On August 23, 2021, Genna Calloway entered NCWorks Career Center-Union in Monroe stating she was looking for work because she wanted a new job and her unemployment benefits were ending in September.
Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) Executive Director, David Hollars, began Centralina Day of Giving in 2017. Since its inception, Centralina WDB and NCWorks Career Center staff have dedicated the Friday before Thanksgiving to volunteer at different local agencies and organizations. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen circumstances that surrounded the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional in-person Centralina Day of Giving was not an option.
The Town of Mooresville Fleet Department recently entered a partnership with the NCWorks Career Center in Mooresville for hiring new staff using the Center’s On-the-Job Training services. Initial outreach by the Mooresville was made by HR Generalist Violet Carter during the COVID-19 lockdown in the summer of 2020. This began a series of meetings between the Mooresville staff and Jens Schmidt, NCWorks Career Center-Mooresville Center Leader.
Stanly County celebrated National Manufacturing Day with the Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) and NCWorks team on September 30 and October 1 of this year with events held at the Agri-Civic Center in Albemarle. Students from four Stanly County high schools had the opportunity to tour local companies and the Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center at Stanly Community College. The tours included FiberOn in New London, Norwood Manufacturing in Norwood and Eudy’s Cabinet Manufacturing in Stanfield.
The year 2020 made for a challenging and unique year for all, but NCWorks was determined to move into 2021 with optimism and hope. Yearning for normalcy, everyone was committed to coming together virtually for the annual NCWorks Partnership Conference, which was held virtually October 12-22, 2021. The theme was “NC Strong: Our Story of Resilience” and we were proud that Centralina Workforce Development Board Executive Director David Hollars and NextGen Specialist Solomon McAuley were selected as speakers.
As the career centers resume a somewhat normal pace, the upcoming fiscal year brings more opportunities for the Centralina WDB to better serve all customers. The Centralina Virtual Career Marketplace, initiated by the Board in early 2019, offers an innovative and creative way to connect career seekers looking for new or better opportunities with local businesses wanting to hire people right now.