About Pathways To Employment

In an effort to meet the needs of the community, CPCC in cooperation with Work First, developed a flexible; short-term program that provides academic, social and job-specific training designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as skilled employees.


On October 1, 1996 the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act made fundamental changes in government aid to the poor. As a leader in adult education and literacy, CPCC’s Community Development Department recognized the need to provide strong basic skills and workplace skills in order for welfare recipients to succeed when their benefits lapse.

A grant from the North Carolina Community College System was awarded to CPCC to implement the Pathways to Employment model.

  • This model was developed to incorporate three integrated components:
  1. Human resources (employability and life skills)
  2. Foundational and Pre-College - formerly basic skills (reading, math, and GED preparation and communication skills)
  3. Job skills necessary to succeed in a specific field.
  • CPCC applies the Pathways to Employment model into a workable program. This nationally recognized program provides the education and training for those who have not had many opportunities for employment enhancement.


      The Pathways To Employment program has received numerous local, state and national awards including:
      1. Central Piedmont Community College’s Certificate of Excellence and Innovator of the Year awards
      2. Bellwether Award Finalist
      3. League for Innovation in the Community College Innovation of the Year Award
      4. Featured in the National Institute For Staff And Organizational Development (NISOD) publication Innovation Abstracts.

      A National Model

      • The Pathways program has been and continues to be creative in taking a training model and turning it into an employment reality.
      • CPCC’s Pathways to Employment program has been presented as a model at numerous state and national conferences:
        • Workplace Peer Conference in Oklahoma City
        • Network’s Welfare to Work to Self-Sufficiency National Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
        • Opportunities 2002-From Partnership To Performance in Albany, Oregon
        • National Institute for Government Innovation’s Welfare Reform, Job Training and Beyond Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
      • The Pathways training model can be utilized to meet the training needs of numerous entry level occupations.
      • The Pathways program utilizes the Learning Community Model and applies integrated curricula.

      A Presidential Honor

      In January of 2002, President George W. Bush came to Charlotte and met with the Pathways to Employment Medical Office Administrative Procedures students. He said, “The innovation that takes place in this community is positive and strong, and that’s why we are here, to herald a program that actually works”. Bush stated, “Sometimes they sound good on paper, they read good, but the results are short. …and that’s not the case in Mecklenburg County when it comes to putting people to work”. President Bush remarked after the meeting with the students, “Today I have the honor… of hearing from the people involved, the human stories, the real-life stories of people who have overcome incredible obstacles”. Meeting President Bush was truly a memorable experience for the students.