Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed March as Students@Work℠ Month in North Carolina. During this time, businesses across the state will join with schools to show students the opportunities that exist in the workplace and to gain knowledge of the skills needed to obtain those jobs. During the month of March, 280 employers from across the state will open their doors to students or send representatives to local schools to highlight available careers.
“Providing a world-class education to every student includes helping them explore potential career opportunities,” said Gov. Cooper. “These experiences offer a window into the jobs that exist in students’ communities and also help us to cultivate and retain talent North Carolinians."
The program focuses on middle school students in grades 6-8 and is also available to high schools that choose to participate.
Students participating in Students@Work 2019 will be exposed to careers in the education, energy, finance, health care, hospitality, legal, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, and technology industries along with careers in the public sector. For the first time, the Governor’s office will also host Students@Work, where staff will talk about careers in public service. The Department of Environmental Quality is also hosting Students@Work this year.
Since 2011, more than 203,000 middle school students have participated in the Students@Work program, which is a partnership between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a nonprofit housed in the Governor’s Office, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This year, to allow more students to take part, the program has been extended to the whole month of March.
Work-based learning programs like Students@Work are important components of Governor Cooper’s NC Job Ready initiative, making sure North Carolina’s workforce is ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
This year’s program also serves as a pilot for North Carolina’s Work-Based Learning Navigator. The Navigator is a free online tool that connects education to careers. The platform brings together members of the business, education and workforce development communities in an online space where they can post, search for and measure work-based learning opportunities. Launched by Governor Cooper last year, the Navigator platform was developed by NCBCE in partnership with Fidelity Investments.
Career Awareness is the first stage of work-based learning, which includes efforts like Students@Work that help students explore and experience potential careers. Career Awareness strengthens our state’s talent pipeline by helping students learn what it takes to be successful in a job.
For more information about Students@Work℠ Week, visit ncbce.org.