NCWorks Mobile Career Center Unit Helps Students Visualize Opportunities Q&A with Jeremiah McCaffity
Have you ever heard of a Mobile Career Center? Last month, NCWorks Community Outreach Coordinator, Jeremiah McCaffity arrived at Western Guilford High School Signature Career Academy of Transportation, Distribution & Global Logistics in the Mobile Career Center to discuss career paths with youth and introduce NCWorks NextGen services to them.
I wanted to learn more about this career center on wheels, so I set up a meeting with Jeremiah. When I spoke with him on a Teams call, I could sense his passion and commitment to serving our program participants, especially the youth. A snapshot of our conversation is below.
Q1: Please tell us how the Mobile Career Center got started.
A1: The Mobile Career Center was birthed from of a collaborative workforce development partnership among four counties in the greater Piedmont Triad area, known as the Eastern Train Workforce Initiative. In 2017, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, in partnership with four surrounding workforce development boards, community college partners and local employers solicited funding from the NC General Assembly to enhance workforce services to young adults and adults in their respective communities. To mitigate challenges that emerged throughout the pandemic, Guilford Works proposed purchasing a Mobile Career Center that could be used to serve individuals in need, from the community in which they live. This has allowed the organization to diversify its service delivery strategy by delivering employment and training services to residents throughout Guilford County, as well as create opportunities for more community-based programming to occur.
Q2: Where does the Mobile Career Center travel to?
A2: The Mobile Career Unit allows us to offer our services on the go at targeted locations around Guilford County, North Carolina. Through the MCC, I can connect with individuals wherever they are and teach them about all the services we provide at NCWorks and how to access NCWorks online to search for job opportunities.
Q3: What tools are inside the Mobile Career Center?
A3: Everything we can do in our brick and mortar career center locations, we can do in the mobile career unit. We have computer access with laptop computers, printers, office supplies, a refrigerator, a microwave, etc. We do programming and workshops out of the unit. For example, I did a First Steps program with the City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Center and also the Greensboro Housing Authority to facilitate exploratory career workshops.
Pictured below are students working inside the Mobile Career Center.
Q4: How did the visit to Western Guilford High School Signature Career Academy of Transportation, Distribution & Global Logistics come about?
A4: Guilford County Schools invited me to their Signature Career Academy V.I.P. (Vision, Innovation, and Progress) Symposium, which showcased career and technical education programs at local schools and also solicited community partnerships. I attended a presentation featuring students at Western Guilford High School, and they were sharing info about drones, logistics, and the transportation industry. After their presentation, I commended the students on their presentation and what they were learning based on my prior work in the logistics/automation industry and shared a little of what NCWorks offers. Later that week, the instructor invited me to present to the students.
Q5: What were the results of your school visit?
A5: Approximately 20 students learned about NCWorks services; many who did not have a clear graduation plan. After providing info on the program, I tested their knowledge with a Kahoot assessment; the goal was to ensure they fully understood how to access the services, whether they need them now or post-graduation. Several students who signed up for services are now participating in the youth program, which provides them access to paid internships, employment assistance, and scholarship opportunities for in-demand industries.
In Guilford County, we have several new economic developments that correlate to our certified career pathways, making it even more exciting to share info on NCWorks!