What is Career Launch?

Career Launch is the one-stop spot for students, educators, and employers interested in exploring youth apprenticeship pathways in North Carolina for youth between the ages of 16-24.

Career Launch programs are designed to increase statewide postsecondary credential attainment and connect students to high-demand jobs through youth apprenticeships.

The programs focus on youth between the ages of 16-24, putting students on the path to a career with growth and a living wage. Programs have paid, supervised work blended with aligned classroom instruction, resulting in an industry-recognized credential or college credit.

Pre-apprenticeship: A credit-bearing recruiting and screening tool designed to prepare the student to succeed in a registered apprenticeship. It gives the employer and student the opportunity to determine if the apprenticeship is the right fit for the future apprentice. Pre-apprenticeships have the same components as an apprenticeship, but all three components are not required. It could consist of all on-the-job training, all work-based learning, or a combination of both, and may be paid or unpaid. Students performing work independently and positively impacting a company’s return on investment (ROI) must be paid. Students participating in pre-apprenticeship earn a state certificate. Pre-apprentices are not guaranteed to move into an apprenticeship, but a pre-apprenticeship program cannot be registered without the registration of an associated apprenticeship program.

Apprenticeship: An innovative credit-bearing system of skilled occupational training that combines practical work experience, on-the-job training, with related academic and technical instruction, and wages earned for skills gain, called a progressive wage scale. All three components are required. Through this earn and learn model, students also earn a state and national credential, or Journey Worker Credential, upon completion of an apprenticeship.