Wake Technical Community College — Goal 1 Initiative WakeWorks

WakeWorks encompasses two innovative collaborations—WakeWorks Apprenticeship and WakeWorks Propel—to enable adult students of all ages to reap the benefits of skills-focused, community college applied degree programs.

WakeWorks Apprenticeship provides students, including those from under-represented groups, the option to earn while they learn through apprenticeships. The effort gives students a leg up on workplace success while helping local industries, many of whom are facing skilled-labor shortages. WakeWorks Propel offers low-cost accelerated skills training programs that lead to industry-recognized certifications or state credentials across a variety of employment categories to ensure Wake County residents are equipped to handle job transition and economic recovery during the pandemic and beyond.

By designing these two innovative interventions to support traditional and non-traditional students looking to bolster their skills or develop new ones, WakeWorks seeks to build "career bridges" and provide more equitable access to North Carolina's dynamic career opportunities.

Initiative Differentiators

WakeWorks is part of strategic effort to create career ladders providing more equitable access to the region’s dynamic career opportunities. For many individuals, college degrees can feel unattainable, and job training programs may provide skills for jobs but often fail to offer steps for career progression. Work-based learning, through WakeWorks Apprenticeship, and credentialed skills training, through WakeWorks Propel are key to creating dynamic career ladders.

Key Interventions and Milestones

WakeWorks Apprenticeship offers apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in several career fields, including automotive systems, HVAC, and EMS. The program continues to add new apprenticeship opportunities in high-demand fields such as tower technician, plumbing, welding, and other skilled trades. The program will maintain average starting salary targets upon apprenticeship completion and aspires to engage 500 students. Meanwhile, WakeWorks Propel has launched courses in five key pathways: healthcare, IT, construction and maintenance trades, manufacturing, and public safety. New courses are being added on an ongoing basis based on the program pathway and demand.

Expected Impact

WakeWorks' two main interventions are designed to increase the number of students enrolling in and completing programs—especially for those under-represented in targeted occupations—as well as provide work-based learning and credentialed skills training opportunities to ensure students are able to secure and succeed in their next role.