Earning a post-secondary credential can help people who have been disconnected from opportunity – including people experiencing unemployment or underemployment – enter rewarding career pathways. But too often, the time and money required to complete a credential stands in the way.

That’s why the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County are working together with partner organizations to lead Accelerate Buncombe, an effort to connect Buncombe County residents with paid, accelerated training opportunities that put them on track toward rewarding careers.

Participants will receive an education stipend of $15 per hour while they complete a qualifying credential. Credential options are 320 or fewer hours in length, allowing participants to complete their studies in 12 weeks or less in most cases. Participants who complete their credential receive a completion bonus, and participants who secure full-time employment and maintain it for 90 days will receive a second bonus.

Enrolled participants will also receive support and case management services from a Community Health Worker employed by partner organizations Land of Sky Regional Council, YMI Cultural Center, and the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville throughout their paid training experience.

Accelerate Buncombe is operating as a one-year pilot from January to December 2023 thanks to generous support from Buncombe County Government.

To learn more about enrolling in a paid training with Accelerate Buncombe, contact Tiarra Wilkie, Workforce Partnership Manager – contact information is below.