NC Governor announces Charlotte-area workforce recovery task force

(The following is from the office of NC Governor Bev Perdue.)

CHARLOTTE, NC - Gov. Bev Perdue today released the recommendations of her Charlotte-area workforce recovery task force, a group she convened in the first weeks of her administration and headed by UNC Associate Vice President for Economic Development Research, Policy and Planning Leslie Boney. The series of strategic steps focus on providing resources and funding to make it easier for unemployed workers to find new employment.

"With the Charlotte region facing an unemployment rate approaching 12 percent, the need for strategic workforce development is clear. I brought together some of the best and the brightest to answer this call - to capitalize on the work already being done here in the Queen City area. I remain committed to working with all regions of this state to help people find opportunities and to create new jobs."

Based on the task force recommendations, Gov. Perdue plans on the following workforce recovery steps:

  • As part of Gov. Perdue's JobsNOW initiative, the state will invest in redesigning the curricula for 21 university-level courses in four different programs so they can be completed in six months. UNC-Charlotte has agreed that it will accelerate some certificate training programs to produce skilled workers in half the time.
  • An innovative pilot project at the Charlotte office of the Small Business and Technology Development Center will be established to identify struggling small businesses and provide them training and assistance in areas critical to business survival and success.
  • The N.C. Department of Commerce will create a special financial industry sector team to work with the Charlotte region to search out and to recruit financial and insurance sector jobs.
  • As many as 500 promising area entrepreneurs will receive training with help from the Kauffman Foundation - a national leader in entrepreneurial business development.
  • An Employment Security Division representative will be on-site at area private outplacement firms to enable access to assistance and services.
  • With assistance from the local workforce development board, a new web portal will be created to serve as an electronic access point for web-savvy jobless workers.
  • If local workforce leaders deem it necessary, a new JobLink Center office will open in uptown Charlotte.

Today's announcement follows the launch of the governor's JobsNOW "12 in 6" program last week, an initiative designed to benefit job seekers and North Carolinians who have lost their jobs due to recent layoffs and plant closures.  The "12 in 6" initiative will create community college programs in 12 careers, each requiring less than six months to complete.