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Holly Springs Chatter

Partnership Between Wake County and Wake Tech Helps People Climb the Economic Ladder

Unemployment in Wake County is among the lowest in the nation (3 percent), but the county ranks 95th out of the 100 largest U.S. metros for economic mobility—meaning nearly everyone has a job, but few people are moving up in the ranks. 

Wake Works, a new partnership between Wake Tech and the county government, hopes to change that. The program, which offers tuition-free trade education through a salaried apprenticeship program, aims to not only help residents get a foot in the door but also to take a step up the economic ladder. 

“We have folks who are working to make a better life for themselves and would benefit from additional job training but may not be in a position to quit their jobs and go back to school when they have to support themselves or their families,” Commissioner Matt Calabria told the INDY. “This gives folks an opportunity to learn a trade, earn income while they are doing it, and ultimately make a better life for themselves.”

The Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to contribute up to $500,000 to cover the cost of tuition ($1,216 a semester for in-state students with a full course schedule), fees, books, tools, and uniforms for students enrolled in the program next fall.

Full Indy coverage here.