College and Career Readiness

Way to Work

Are you having a hard time finding a job because you lack good work experience or need to improve your reading and math? The free, 16-week Way to Work program can help you build your resume and gain valuable skills at the same time.

What is Way to Work?

The College and Career Readiness Way to Work program provides a unique transition program designed to serve intellectually disabled and low functioning adults who face multiple barriers to employment and require a different type of learning and work experience to move forward in their career path.

Way to Work integrates:

  • literacy instruction contextualized to the world of work
  • job readiness and soft skills training through Mecklenburg County’s Working Smart initiative
  • a work-based learning experience through internships with local businesses and organizations to help students build their resume

What Do Graduates Receive?

Graduates who complete this 16-week, 160 hour program leave with:

  • a career plan that will guide you through your educational and employment journey in the future
  • Working Smart certification in soft skills
  • job readiness skills to help you seek and find employment
  • valuable work experience that can be added to your resume
  • improved math, reading, and writing skills for the workplace
  • registration in NC Works

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 Can Enroll?

    • must be at least 16 years of age and not enrolled in a public/private secondary school 

      • 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)
    • be eligible to work in the U.S. and interested in finding a job
    • have a photo ID
    • high school diploma not required
    • intellectually disabled or function below a 6th grade level
  • What Does the Program Include and How Does it Operate?

    Interested individuals are interviewed by the program coordinator to determine eligibility and suitability. Students complete 8 weeks of work-focused academic classes, soft skills instruction, career planning, and interviewing and resume preparation. During the second eight weeks, students complete internships three days a week and receive ongoing academic and career support two days a week.

    First Eight Weeks

    • career exploration
    • math and reading skills needed on the job
    • resume preparation and interviewing skills
    • soft skills certification endorsed by Charlotte Works

    Second Eight Weeks

    • eight-week unpaid internship with a local employer three days a week
    • continued academic and career advising two days a week

    Many Way to Work graduates go on to enroll in a short-term job training program at Central Piedmont after they improve their academic skills.

  • How Do I Enroll?

    Your first step is to attend a Way to Work information session to learn more about the program. A list of upcoming dates will be published soon.

  • 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)
    • NC Works NextGen (Work and Learn)
    • Pathways to Careers
    • Rise 2 Work