Academic and Workforce Development Infrastructure

Workforce development and specialized industry training

North Carolina has an extensive and sophisticated workforce development and training infrastructure providing world-class training.  North Carolina has the third largest Community College System in the U.S., with 58 community colleges meeting the needs of every county in the state.
As a service, the NCCCS offers customized training to North Carolina companies, and companies that choose to locate in the state. To assist companies, the Community College System's Economic and Workforce Development Division offers a range of services and resources, including the Small Business Center Network.The Customized Training Program was amended in 2008, integrating the New and Expanding Industry Training Program and the Customized Industry Training Program to more effectively respond to business and industry.   The program was developed recognizing that one of the most important factors for a business or industry is the ability of the state to ensure the presence of a well-trained workforce. The Systems' programs are designed to react quickly to the needs of businesses and to respect the confidential nature of proprietary processes and information within those businesses.  The NCCCS has a strong history of partnering directly with industry to provide cutting-edge training to directly meet industry needs.  

Another resource the state offers is BioNetwork. BioNetwork is a statewide initiative connecting community colleges across the state to leverage all the colleges' resources to provide specialized training, curricula and equipment for the life sciences industry sector, including critical hands-on training.  BioNetwork provides:
  • Education and training in fields ranging from a Biofuels Associate Degree to Agricultural Biotechnology, and more.
  • Specialized certificate programs and more extensive curricula in fields such as industrial systems technology, welding and other industrial programs
  • Community Colleges provide up-to-date, industry-compliant curricula and short courses

Top universities for research

North Carolina is ranked the number three biotechnology state in the U.S., and number two in agricultural biotechnology research.  Many of the top agricultural biotech companies are located in the RTP, where they have access to North Carolina's top university researchers and are only 45 minutes from North Carolina's Biofuels Campus.  North Carolina's University System provides sophisticated research in depth statewide, including algae research at MarbioNC at the coast to forestry and energy grass research at NC State University.  The RTP is rated as one of the regions in the U.S. with the highest number of PhDs per capita.