What is Career Launch?

Every North Carolinian ages 16-24 will have access to quality work-based learning that prepares them for in-demand careers and provides them with a high-quality credential or college credit.

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

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


Apprenticeship is a training system that combines classroom learning with structured on-the-job learning. A registered youth apprenticeship is an industry-driven education and career-training program based on recognized industry standards. The term “youth” is used to refer to apprentices who have not turned 18, or who are still high school students. Students in a Registered Apprenticeship earn while they learn. Employers set a progressive wage scale that gives incremental raises to the apprentice as he or she gains more experience and education. 

Tuition waivers are available for high school students who enter a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program while they are still in high school. Registered pre-apprentices have 120 days from the day they graduate to transition into an apprenticeship to remain eligible for the waiver. This benefit will continue for the length of the apprenticeship training term after high school, providing a free certification or college degree to those who participate.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is for ambitious students excited about what’s next. Our courses and experiences reinforce skills critical to the workforce of the future – ethics, problem solving, teamwork, and communication – all while being immersed in new experiences, with cutting-edge technology and real-world challenges.

You can get the skills and experience you need to jump right into the workforce. Or you can pair the experiences you gain in CTE with a 2-year or 4-year degree.

The opportunity for an amazing job and incredible lifestyle are all right here, in North Carolina, and they start with CTE.

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