What Does Work-Based Learning Look Like?

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Career Awareness

Many students are unaware of fascinating careers available within their local communities and across the state. You cannot dream of or work towards something you do not know even exists. Join the hundreds of North Carolina businesses that are helping to expand perspectives for future and current job seekers. Help us better prepare North Carolinians with job shadowing and job exposure.

Career Exploration

Exploring careers not only provides students an opportunity to see what options are available for them in the future, but also provides second-hand experience working with professionals in the field. Through the many career exploration options, students get to learn through work as well as gain insights and technical skills that will help them in the future.

Career Experience

Career Experiences provide students first-hand experience working with companies in multiple industries.


Bringing together statewide government, education, and industry partners, NCBCE’s Building Bright Futures is a grant initiative designed to strengthen the early child care workforce through pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships. This program offers technical assistance, resources, and financial support to students with opportunities for paid work-based learning experiences, professional development, and mentorship as they progress toward a career in early childhood education.

STEPs4GROWTH is a comprehensive clean energy workforce development project funded by a grant from the US Department of Commerce. It is led by NC A&T State University with support from NCBCE and other partners. STEPs4GROWTH works with employers to train students and adults to fill well-paying jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean vehicles, and grid & resiliency.

Since 2017, NCBCE has been leading the state’s efforts to expand, pilot, and promote work-based learning and to provide technical assistance to employers and local education and workforce partners. The Experience More site provides toolkits, information, examples, and strategies to support work-based learning.

LiNC-IT (Linking North Carolina with Innovative Talent) addresses the high unemployment rate (86%) of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and employers’ need for educated, loyal, and detail-oriented workers. LiNC-IT provides job coaching for participants and their managers to support success. To date, this program has had over 100 successful placements.

This program, sponsored by Google, offers a comprehensive platform for autistic high school students, fostering invaluable opportunities for their professional development. Through this initiative, students can acquire industry-recognized credentials, engage in high-quality work-based learning experiences, and gain profound insights into their regional industries. Upon completion, participants may transition into a registered youth pre-apprenticeship pathway, laying a solid foundation for their future success.

NCBCE leads North Carolina’s participation in the National Governors Association Work-Based Learning Policy Academy as a Leader State. Through this multi-system initiative, NC Career Launch was developed. Career Launch programs provide students with work-based learning and education or credential attainment to prepare them for the workforce. NCBCE works with partners to expand youth pre-apprenticeship programs and launch innovative pilots that provide learn and earn opportunities for students and a pipeline of future team members for employers.

As part of the NC Student Connect program, NCBCE hosted a series of remote learning professional development conferences for educators: Remote Education and Learning (REAL), REAL 2.0, STEM Connect, and Cultural Arts LIVE.  All sessions were recorded and can be found on the website.

The Ready, Set, App! Competition, sponsored by Lenovo, is an initiative that challenges NC high school students to create a mobile app that addresses a problem in their school or community. Ready, Set, App! focuses on three primary pillars: mobile app development, professional and personal development, and interpersonal and soft skills development.

Students@Work℠, a career awareness program held by Gubernatorial Proclamation, introduces NC middle school students to businesses and careers. Students are hosted by employers (on-site or virtually) and learn about career pathways in real-world business environments. Career awareness is a critical first step in adding relevancy to academics and positioning students to successfully navigate career pathways. Many students are unaware of the multitude of careers available within their state and Students@Work helps bridge this gap.

Teachers@Work is a teacher-externship model designed in partnership by NCBCE and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The program provides educators from across the state with unique, hands-on learning experiences inside local businesses, non-profit organizations, and state entities. Through these experiences, educators gain a more robust understanding of the technical skills, behaviors, and mindsets students need to be successful in today’s professional environments.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, NCBCE convened representatives from business, education, government, and non-profits to develop short-term connectivity strategies for remote learning.  Through this work, NCBCE raised grant funding to support remote learning in rural districts and assisted in the development of NC Student Connect, which has connected over 83,000 students with high-speed internet.  The work continues to address the student digital divide in NC.

Tech Team – NC Student Connect is a comprehensive framework and toolkit for North Carolina schools and districts to access resources for starting, implementing, and scaling a student technology support desk. Its development was realized by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), an organization that fosters the critical connection between NC employers and education systems through work-based learning.

Professional development is critical to supporting educators. The Governor’s Educator Discovery Award recognizes exemplary and innovative teachers by covering the costs associated with professional development opportunities. This allows educators to pursue professional development opportunities outside of what their school can offer, getting the chance to engage in content that suits their interests and the unique needs of their classroom.

Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) is an NCBCE initiative sponsored by Smithfield Foods. SEED is focused on growing NC’s advanced manufacturing and agriculture workforce through work-based learning and apprenticeships. This initiative will create youth pre-apprenticeship programs to create great careers in southeastern NC. Students in this learn and earn program will participate in paid on the job training while earning an Associate’s degree.

Coming Soon! NCBCE was selected as an inaugural funded partner in the Siemens Foundation's EVeryone Charging Forward program, aligning with the state's commitment to a clean energy future. This collaboration addresses the growing demand for skilled workers in the expanding EV charging sector, particularly focusing on underserved communities. For more insights, visit the Siemens Foundation's official website.