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Educational leaders across the state are working to help more residents obtain post-secondary credentials. The 58 community colleges in North Carolina are using federal recovery funds to help support students outside of school, so they focus on completing their academic goals. High school students who graduated in 2021 can apply for the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant to have their tuition and fees covered at any community college in the state for two years. The Better Skills, Better Jobs program helps identify and reconnect adult learners previously associated with select community colleges. Students who choose to re-enroll to complete a credential are given guidance and support as they re-learn how to navigate the system.

Across the state, workforce development boards work to coordinate planning and implementation of programs designed to increase workforce participation. Each of the 23 boards are made up of community leaders, typically those with strong business or industry ties, appointed by relevant elected officials. Boards typically seek to serve a variety of residents, from adults looking to begin a new career path to graduating students seeking to start strong in a career out of high school. One such board, GuilfordWorks, runs a program to help opportunity youth and other young adults to build the skills necessary to begin their careers. Those interested can contact the board to gain access to career counseling, resume building, and occupation skills training services.

ncIMPACT hosts a town hall on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill that highlights the work being done across the state to help students thrive.