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Perspective | Overcoming the awareness gap with career search tool

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To align our current and future workforce with high-demand jobs, North Carolinians need to be able and prepared to work, but they must also be aware of and interested in these opportunities. Enter

The website developed out of a partnership of North Carolina’s leading education and workforce development stakeholders to meet the state’s current and future workforce needs. More than 275,000 North Carolinians have accessed the site in the past year, with the average user spending nearly eight minutes engaging with its activities and content.   

As the state’s economy has grown and evolved, occupations, work environments, and employers’ needs have shifted significantly. However, many students and workers aren’t aware of how significantly these shifts have altered job requirements, employer expectations, and the education and training requirements necessary to land these jobs of the future. provides labor market information, career development tools, education and training resources, and career planning and job search information to all career explorers across the state so they can craft a rewarding and prosperous career. guides users to explore occupations that best match their needs, interests, skills, education, and experience. Often this journey starts with self-assessment. Six assessments are available for users to better understand their preferred career cluster, personality type, skills, work values, and lifestyle ambitions. These activities help to narrow the list of almost 800 occupations to a manageable number that can be explored in-depth. In addition to general information such as typical job duties, skills required, and minimum education, offers high-quality labor market data specific to North Carolina. For each occupation, it provides current wages, projected growth, required licenses, related higher education programs and North Carolina institutions, and a brief video. also helps users learn to grow their career beyond their next job and find professional career counseling in their area to better prepare them for a job search. This career information system was designed to be useful throughout a person’s career — starting as early as middle school. All work done in can be saved, revisited, and amended in the future thanks to a free log-in, powered by has proven to be quite popular since it launched in mid-2020 — particularly in classrooms across the state, thanks in part to ready-made lesson plans downloadable from the site.

Geographic concentration map of usage since launch. Courtesy of is a product of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis and Workforce Solutions Divisions, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the N.C. Community College System, the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind, the University of North Carolina System, N.C. State Education Assistance Authority, College Foundation Inc., N.C. Business Committee for Education, N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities, N.C. Association of Workforce Development Boards, myFutureNC, and the NCWorks Commission.

Jamie Vaughn

Jamie Vaughn is the senior analyst for market intelligence with the NC Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD).