College and Career Readiness

NCWorks NextGen (Work and Learn)

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

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)
  • occupational training
  • resume 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.

Learn About College and Career Readiness

Why Choose Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness offers programs to develop students’ academic skills, earn a high school equivalency (GED or HiSET) or adult high school diploma, learn English as a second language (ESL), develop employability skills and participate in various work-based-learning experiences, or explore career and post-secondary educational opportunities. Many programs are free or at a very low cost for qualified participants.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Additional Information

  • Who is Eligible to Participate?

    To be eligible for NextGen, you must be:

    • 16 to 24 years old

      • students between 16-17 years of age must petition to enroll into an alternative adult education program at Central Piedmont (review the requirements for minors)
    • a resident of Mecklenburg County
    • out of school (students enrolled in GED, HiSET, or Adult High School classes can be eligible)
    • a citizen, permanent resident, or have a right to work in the United States
    • Selective Service Compliant (for males 18+)

    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 has 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
  • How Do I Enroll?

    Successfully completing these steps will help you be prepared to attend an approved training of your choice. Get started today.

    Step 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:

    Step 2. 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 Paula Holmes at 704.330.2722, ext. 3075 or

    Step 3. Complete the Program Suitability Application

    Complete the NC Works Next Gen Suitability Application (PDF) and email it to You may also wait to turn in the form in-person when we return to campus.

    Step 4. Schedule an Enrollment Appointment

    Schedule an appointment with Paula Holmes. If you have questions or need help obtaining a document, please call her at 704.330.2722, ext. 3075 (leave a message) or email 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, please 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
    • if male, age 18 or older: Selective Service registration confirmation (letter printout from
    • 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
    • other documents about challenges (if applicable): homeless, foster care, offender, disability

    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:

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

    Central Piedmont Career Coach

  • Related Programs

    • Adult High School
    • Career Development
    • Caseworker Training: NC Fast and DSS Human Services
    • English as a Second Language (ESL)
    • ESL Plus
    • High School Equivalency Exam (GED® or HiSET®)
    • Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities (I-LEAD)
    • Pathways to Careers
    • Rise 2 Work