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About The Academy

“North Carolina has, for the second consecutive year, captured  Site Selection Magazine’s “Prosperity Cup ” in recognition of its #1 national performance ranking in economic development. Given that the #1 factor in economic development today is the availability of a talented, educated, productive workforce, the time has come to establish the NC Workforce Leadership Academy, for workforce development professionals, economic development practitioners, and other leaders to effectively share best practices, promote outreach and engagement, confer earned continuing credentials, and solidify the bond that exists between them and the higher education faculty, staff and students critical to sustained success.”

-Tom White, Director
Economic Development Partnership

North Carolina Workforce Leadership Academy is operated by the Municipal Research Lab at North Carolina State University, under a partnership with the National Association of Workforce Boards, the Workforce Leadership Institute, NCWorks Commission, the North Carolina Association of Workforce Development Boards, the NC State Continuing and Lifelong Education at North Carolina State University, and the North Carolina State University Economic Development Partnership.

Workforce development is an essential component of a community’s economic development initiatives. It has come to describe a relatively wide range of activities, policies, and programs employed by communities to create, sustain, and retain a viable workforce that can support current and future business and industry. It can include changes to culture, changes to attitudes, and changes to people’s potential that help to influence a business’ future success positively. Without a sufficient workforce, economic opportunities that might have been open to a community will move to other regions.

The workforce development field also requires strong, committed, and capable leaders who can develop strategies that enhance their community’s capacity. These leaders need to understand the economic conditions of their community, their neighbors, and their state to leverage the skills and capacity of their community for economic opportunities as they emerge. The Workforce Leadership Academy provides training, education, and resources for these workforce development leaders throughout North Carolina.

We are the only workforce development training program that is created in partnership with the National Association of Workforce Boards and the only program accredited by the Workforce Leadership Institute to provide the Certified Workforce Leader credential.

The program differs from other training opportunities in the state and nationally. Currently, the training opportunities within North Carolina are focused on the day-to-day aspects of working as an employee in the workforce development field. This training is primarily directed towards preparing employees to help residents obtain employment. By focusing on developing leaders within the workforce development community, the academy prepares attendees to participate in and lead workforce development boards, engage with economic developers, and create initiatives that will further the entire community.