Prosperity for All. Alliance Overlay

Upskilling During COVID-19 and Beyond

Access to Opportunity

The Challenge

Due to the COVID-19 crisis North and South Carolina have seen record job losses and unemployment insurance claims in the Carolinas have been among the highest in the nation.

In the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s 15-county region, more than 150,000 jobs have been lost because of the economic impact of the pandemic. Black and Latinx workers have been disproportionately affected by these job losses.

According to a national survey by Strada Education on COVID-19 and the workforce, 59% of respondents are considering enrollment in a non-degree certificate program and/or courses for specific skill training.

There is an urgent need to enhance access to opportunity through new skilling (beyond the traditional four-year degree) that will get people on pathways to work and sustainable careers.

The Opportunity

Access to Opportunity will provide funding for workers who have been displaced by the economic impact of COVID-19 to acquire the training and upskilling that will allow them to secure sustainable employment through certificate and continuing education programs at regional community colleges including Central Piedmont, Catawba Valley, Gaston, as well as UNC Charlotte, and other innovative education offerings, such as those provided by Coursera, a global online learning platform.

Individuals will also be connected to career and training resources and services provided by organizations such as Charlotte Works, Centralina, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, and workforce development organizations in the region. Our education and workforce development partners will help us identify participants and match them with the education, training and ultimately credentials, they need to pursue careers in technology, manufacturing and other high-growth sectors.

We have an immediate goal to fund 250 individuals like Isabel and Jenny (see their testimonials in the Overview below) to enroll in certificate programs and other education courses in 2020. With enough support, we will be able to extend this initiative into 2021 and help 1,000+ or more individuals get the new skills they need to benefit from the increased opportunities that will be available as our economy recovers and continues to grow.


For a full overview of Access to Opportunity

Click Here

Impact Statement

For the Access to Opportunity Impact Statement

Click Here


Candidate form to be considered for Access to Opportunity funding

Click Here



Contribute to the upskilling of workers in the Charlotte region for new career opportunities, and help enhance the talent that our businesses need, by making a donation to the CLT Alliance Foundation. Proceeds will support our work to expand Paths to Economic Mobility, advance Small, Diverse Businesses and develop Talent-Focused Economic Research.

Cherise Walker

For More Information

Cherise Walker

Operations Director
CLT Alliance Foundation