College and Career Readiness

Working in America

Do you need to improve your English so that you can enroll in college or find a better job? Why not do both at the same time?

What You Will Learn

With Working in America, you can:

  • enhance your communication skills for the workplace
  • improve your English
  • prepare for post-secondary education or short-term job training
  • write resumes and learn interview skills
  • gain work skills that employers want

Central Piedmont's Working in America program is designed for advanced level English as a Second Language (ESL) students who desire to improve their English skills, learn about the American work culture, and enroll in shortterm occupational programs. The program integrates:

  • career exploration
  • soft skills certification
  • English for the world of work
  • digital literacy
  • job readiness
  • occupational training

A bilingual career advisor helps you develop a career plan based on your interests and desired occupational field of study.

What do Graduates Receive?

Graduates who complete the 16—32 week program (depending on the occupational training program they select), leave with:

  • a career plan that will guide them through their educational and employment journey in the future
  • Working Smart certification in soft skills
  • job readiness skills to help them seek and find employment
  • improved listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills for the workplace
  • registration in NC Works
  • an occupational certificate in a high demand field

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)
    • must be a non-native English speaker
    • be eligible to work in the U.S. and interested in job training
    • have a photo ID
    • must score at Advanced ESL levels on placement test
  • How Does the Program Operate?

    Interested individuals are interviewed by the program coordinator to determine eligibility and suitability. Students complete eight weeks of work-focused English classes, soft skills instruction, career planning, digital literacy, and interviewing and resume preparation. During the second eight weeks, students receive continued academic and advising support while they co-enroll in short-term occupational training.

    First Eight Weeks

    • career exploration
    • Working Smart — soft skills certification
    • advanced English for the workplace
    • digital literacy

    Second 8 Weeks

    • advanced English and academic skills
    • interview resumes/interview skills
    • career exploration
    • prepare for placement testing for post-secondary education
    • job search and application process
  • How Long Does it Take?

    The program runs from 16—32 weeks depending on the job training you select. Many job training programs run 16 weeks or fewer. Scholarships are available to cover tuition and books.

    • How Do I Enroll?

      Your first step is to attend a Working in America information session to learn more about the program. Upcoming dates are as follows:

      • Wednesday, July 31 at 11:15 a.m.
      • Tuesday, August 6 at 11:15 a.m.
      • Tuesday, August 13 at 11:15 a.m.


      Please register for ONE information/orientation session. For more information contact

    • Explore Careers

    • Related Programs

      • Adult High School
      • Career Development
      • Caseworker Training: NC Fast and DSS Human Services
      • English as a Second Language (ESL)
      • 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
      • Way to Work