College and Career Readiness

NCWorks NextGen (Work and Learn)

Your free gateway to education, job training, and employment from College and Career Readiness NCWorks NextGen. Earn $1,500 while you work and learn.

Attend an Information Session

Review a video recording of a Central Piedmont NextGen information session, or attend a live, virtual information session. Live sessions are held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. At that time, join the live info session in Webex.

What You Will Learn

NCWorks NextGen can truly change your life. NextGen is a comprehensive education, training, and employment program for young adults ages 16–24 with one or more barriers to employment. The program can help you plan, prepare, and launch a career in a high-demand field. Take a look at what you can receive at no cost to you:

  • career planning
  • GED or HiSET or adult high school classes (if needed to finish school)
  • occupational training
  • résumé and interviewing help
  • soft skills certification
  • paid internships
  • financial incentives
  • mentoring and leadership development
  • personal career advisor
  • job placement assistance

Finish the program with:

  • Working Smart certification in soft skills
  • job readiness skills to help you seek and find employment
  • a high school credential
  • an occupational certificate in a high demand field
  • paid work experience related to your program of study
  • financial incentives (gift cards, tablets, etc.) for reaching success
  • benchmarks
  • employment (or in the process of obtaining employment)
  • a renewed sense of hope, determination, and a plan for your future

Our knowledgeable and caring advisors will help you every step of the way.

Who Can Enroll

To be eligible for NextGen, you must be:

  • 16–24 years old
  • a resident of Mecklenburg County
  • out of school (students enrolled in classes to finish high school can be eligible)
  • a citizen, permanent resident, or have a right to work in the United States
  • Selective Service Compliant (for males 18 years old and older)

In addition, you must meet one of the following:

  • school dropout
  • ex-offender (an individual who is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system)
  • homeless, a runaway, in foster care, or aged out of the foster care system
  • an individual who is pregnant or parenting
  • an individual with a disability
  • low income individual who is basic skills deficient (below 9.0 on TABE) or an English language learner

Enroll Now to Finish School or Work Towards Your Career

  • 1. Attend an Information Session

    Attending an information session is mandatory to be considered for this program. Sessions are currently being offered online only. You can either:

    If you are unable to attend an information session, contact us.

  • 2. Complete the Program Suitability Application

    Complete the NC Works Next Gen Suitability Application. If you have any questions about the form, contact You may also ask Paula Holmes for a paper form.

  • 3. Fill Out Contact Form

    If you complete the recorded online information session, or to request that we contact you with general information about the program, complete the contact form. We will call you or email you within two business days. If you are unable to attend an information session, contact us.

  • 4. Schedule an Enrollment Appointment

    Schedule an appointment with Paula Holmes. If you have questions or need help obtaining a document, contact us. You will need to bring the following required documents to your appointment:

    • original Social Security card: with your signature, un-laminated
    • original birth certificate
    • driver’s license or picture ID card (proof of residence): learner’s permit, government ID, DMV/state ID card, school ID, etc. (If the address on your ID does not match your current address, bring a document with your name and current address, such as a bill, government document or paystub.)
    • proof of citizenship/right to work: birth certificate, passport, Permanent Residence card (Green Card), or work permit
    • public assistance verification (if applicable): TANF (Work First), SNAP (Food Stamps), SSI, etc. — letter from agency including amount received per month. We can help you obtain this document if needed.
    • income verification (if applicable): If you have worked recently, please provide proof of the last six months or proof of public assistance
    • school records: your most recent diploma or transcript (if you graduated from high school)
    • pregnant/parenting (if applicable): birth certificates for child(ren); if currently pregnant with first child no specific document is required
    • if male, age 18 or older: Selective Service registration confirmation (letter printout from
    • other documents about challenges (if applicable): homeless, foster care, offender, disability
  • 5. Next Steps

    If you qualify for the program, you will move forward with attending the required Working Smart (work readiness) class. After you successfully complete the Working Smart class, you will attend an online Academic Enrichment course that will help you:

    • prepare for the placement test to take for-college-credit courses (if you have graduated from high school)
    • work towards completing your high school equivalency to finish school (if you have not graduated from high school)

Additional Information