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Workforce & Education

Workforce Development with Impact

Ensuring a skilled workforce pipeline requires strong partnerships, as well as investments that put dollars into action.

Lincoln County, North Carolina, is proud of our innovative partnerships. Collaboration between the county, the Golden Leaf Foundation and the Timken Foundation has resulted in an investment of more than $1.5 million in award-winning workforce development programs that continue to pay dividends.

Our partnerships bring together the three stakeholder groups instrumental to a thriving and sustainable economic ecosystem:

  • Industry
  • Education
  • Economic development
The Future Begins Here

Lincoln County is known for offering a large pool of knowledgeable and skilled workers. To build on this workforce, we have joined forces with educators and manufacturers to inspire and connect students at every level, from middle school to high school to college.

Through our program Manufacturing a Future that Works, we arm our educators with high-impact resources to develop a workforce second to none. This initiative has been recognized at the national level as a model workforce development program. It also aligns with the goals of the statewide college and career readiness initiative myFutureNC.

K-12 Education

With forward-thinking programs and a graduation rate well above the state average, Lincoln County gives students the knowledge and resources to meet the demands of today’s employers. Our high schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and the Lincoln County School of Technology are on the cutting edge of workforce development, equipping students with skills in areas such as:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Engineering design
  • Robotics and mechatronics
  • Computer-aided drafting (CAD) for engineering and architecture
  • Computer engineering and programming
  • Multimedia and web design

Our high schools also partner with area businesses and industry through the Industrial Managers Association (IMA). This partnership is designed to keep the most promising and talented students on a direct pathway that begins in middle school with career exploration, and continues in high school with hands-on training and pre-apprenticeships. Upon graduating, students can pursue apprentice opportunities that lead to earning a journeyman’s certificate and an associate’s degree, preparing them for a successful career in Lincoln County.

Edge Factor

Groundbreaking. Forward-thinking. Empowering. Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) dared to think big when it came to our workforce development initiatives to build relationships between schools, businesses and families. We found the perfect partner in Edge Factor.

LEDA was the first organization in North Carolina to join forces with these storytellers, known for productions that engage and inspire middle and high school students and their families in innovative, interactive ways.

Our workforce development initiatives include:

  • Hosting live events to inspires families to pursue local careers
  • Filming industry tours and local career profile videos
  • Producing story-driven, high-impact films and TV shows that bring to life the benefits of technical education
  • Equipping educators to spark the interest of students in the classroom and at home with tools focused on STEAM on-the-job education and virtual workplace experiences

Edge Factor lives by the motto: “Run with Runners and work with people you like.” We have already run far with our initiatives, and will continue to build on our momentum as we reach more and more of our future workforce. With Edge Factor, students see how technical education leads to advanced manufacturing jobs that are rewarding, lucrative – and cool.

To watch videos and discover local opportunities, check out the Lincoln County has the Edge page: Edge Factor – Lincoln County

Higher Education

Many of our high school graduates continue their journey at nearby Gaston College, where they can earn certificates and two-year degrees in one of more than 100 programs. The Gaston College Center for Advanced Manufacturing has become a workforce development powerhouse, providing advanced training to support Lincoln County industries.

In Lincoln County, our approach to workforce development is strategic, focused and built to last. We keep the labor pipeline full of workers who are prepared with the skills our businesses need to compete in an increasingly complex marketplace.