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Economic & Workforce Development

The Economic & Workforce Development Division of Forsyth Tech promotes the personal and professional development of individuals and employee groups by offering non-credit courses, assessments and Small Business Center seminars. Courses and seminars vary from a few hours in length to several hundred hours, depending on their purpose and content. Courses for the general public are developed and routinely advertised. Others are developed and customized for the employee groups of client companies, and as a result, are not advertised to the general public. Economic & Workforce Development instruction generally includes a combination of lecture, demonstration and application and may be delivered in either a classroom, at client company offices or a distance learning environment.

Economic & Workforce Development offers a broad range of educational services: basic skill and developmental assessments, testing for professional licensure and certifications, career assessments, training and leadership needs assessments and job task analyses. Some specialized programs include the Small Business Center, WorkKeys™ testing, customized training programs, human resources development, workplace literacy and English language acquisition.

The Economic & Workforce Development Customer Service Center provides information about courses and how to register for them. The Center is open for registration Monday through Friday and is located on the West Campus at 1300 Bolton Street, Winston-Salem. Call the Customer Service Center at 336.734.7023 or access its services online at:

Economic & Workforce Development offers courses at the Main Campus, Northwest Forsyth Center, Grady P. Swisher Center, Stokes County Center, West Campus, Transportation Center, Mazie S. Woodruff Center and Innovation Quarter. Courses are also conducted at other non-Forsyth Tech facilities throughout Forsyth and Stokes Counties.


The mission of the Economic & Workforce Development division is to work in partnership with the community to identify and meet adult education and training needs for lifelong learning, economic development and improved quality of life.

The general program objectives are:

  • To provide expanded educational opportunities for adults who would not otherwise continue their education
  • To provide relatively inexpensive, convenient educational opportunities for adults regardless of educational background
  • To provide programs of vocational/technical education for employed and unemployed adults who need training or retraining
  • To provide short courses that meet general adult and community needs
  • To provide vocational and technical training programs for new and expanding industry in the Forsyth Tech service area
  • To provide small business development, educational programs and services for establishing prospective businesses

Admissions Requirements

Economic & Workforce Development courses and seminars are generally for adults 18 years of age and older. However, individuals 16 and 17 years of age may enroll in occupational extension or self-support courses during the evenings, weekends or summer. College and Career Readiness students are required to provide a signed minor release form prior to admittance into the program. Some courses do require a student application, thus prospective students should inquire about admission requirements for specific programs of interest. Inquiries can be made at the Economic & Workforce Development Customer Service Center at 336.734.7023.

Course Fees

Most Economic & Workforce Development courses have associated fees; such as registration, technology, campus access and security (CAPS), specific fee and insurance; some do not. Registration fee and fee refund policies are publicized in the Schedule of Courses and on the College website. As part of the CAPS fee, one college parking decal per student, per school year is included. If a CAPS fee is not included as part of the registration costs and you are parking on a Forsyth Tech owned campus, first parking decal may be purchased for $5.00. All students may purchase additional parking decals, as needed, for $25.00 each.

Some students are exempt from paying registration fees. For example, courses requested by the following entities that support the organizations' training needs and are on a specialized course list approved by the State Board of Community Colleges may have their registration fees waived: volunteer fire departments; municipal, county or state fire departments; volunteer EMS or rescue and lifesaving departments; municipal, county, or state EMS or rescue and lifesaving departments; and municipal, county, or state law enforcement agencies.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Economic & Workforce Development occupational extension courses are approved for continuing education units (CEUs). An occupational extension course is one that provides instruction on specific occupational skills. CEU credit is based upon the number of hours a course is scheduled to meet. One CEU is awarded for every 10 hours, and any portion thereof, a person attends class. (For example, a course that meets for 22 hours awards 2.2 CEUs.)

Educational Programs

Adult Basic Skills

This program provides education in basic reading, writing and math skills through the College and Career Readiness Department. Adult basic education classes are held at various locations throughout Forsyth and Stokes counties during day and evening hours.

The primary objectives of the program are:

  • To enable individuals to achieve greater independence in their personal lives
  • To enhance their ability to benefit from occupational training
  • To increase their opportunities for better and more rewarding jobs
  • To make them better able to meet their family and community responsibilities and
  • To help business and industry use the full capabilities of their work force

Adult High School Diploma

Forsyth Tech, in cooperation with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System and the Stokes County School System, offers courses to adult students who have dropped out of high school and wish to obtain an adult high school diploma.

Adults take courses needed to satisfy North Carolina high school graduation requirements. A passing score on the high school competency test is required for graduation. Unless a student is part of the withdraw- to- transfer- program with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, students must be officially withdrawn from their previous school for four (4) months. There is no registration fee; however, students must purchase their own books and supplies.

Apprenticeship Programs

Economic & Workforce Development offers an electrical apprenticeship program in cooperation with the Forsyth County Electrical Contractors Association.

Apprentices are required to complete a minimum of 144 hours of instruction each year, and classes are offered during the fall and spring semesters. In addition, indentured apprentices must complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year. At the conclusion of the program, apprentices receive a journeyman’s card through the North Carolina Department of Labor.

Careers NOW! Occupational Programs

The Careers NOW! Program is uniquely set up to assist those who are unemployed, seeking advancement in their current field or starting second careers. Its purpose is to provide educational career planning and effective occupational training to prepare individuals for entry-level positions or to take advantage of career advancement opportunities. For information, call 336.734.7748.

Community Service

Community service courses and activities are designed to contribute to a community’s overall cultural, civic and intellectual growth. Some of the more popular courses include foreign languages, picture framing, painting, crafts, digital photography and retirement planning. Almost any course can be offered in response to community interest.

Summer Camp

Forsyth Tech offers summer camp opportunities for youth ages 9-18 through our Destination Forsyth Tech program. The program lasts one month and individual classes are typically 12 hours in duration and run Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Examples of class subjects typically offered include art, drama, dance, game/app design, robotics, coding, Minecraft, Roblox, video game animation, and academic classes such as reading and math to battle student “brain drain” over the summer. Some examples of class subjects specifically geared towards our high school aged students include ACT/SAT prep, ACT/SAT math, college essay, interior design, and 3D printing. For more information please visit

Computer Applications

A wide variety of computer courses are offered online and in the classroom. Computer courses can also be customized to meet specific content and scheduling requirements of company employee groups.

Continuing Education Distance Learning

Ed2go: Affordable, convenient learning from your home or office. Continuing Education Ed2go courses are six weeks or more in length offering Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) with successful completion. For a full course listing including price and date of courses, please go to the Continuing Education Ed2go website. A wide range of courses is available.

Business & Industry Services

Whether your organization is interested in improving the hiring process, building leadership or workforce skills, providing extraordinary customer service, or improving the management of employees’ day-to-day performance, Forsyth Tech Business & Industry Services can customize a training plan built to meet your specific educational needs.

Forsyth Tech Business & Industry Services also proudly partners with Development Dimensions International, HRDQ, and Logical Operations, three leading educational providers known world-wide for their high quality educational and development programs. Choose from a range of courses that, when taken together, improve your workforce’s overall performance or, when taken selectively, let you pinpoint areas to improve. A needs analysis allows you to focus your program selection and tailor it to the needs of your audience.

Customized Training Program

The Customized Training Program provides state funded workforce development education, training and support services for new and existing businesses in North Carolina. Our goal is to foster and support three key aspects of your organization’s well-being:

  • Job Growth
  • Technology Investment
  • Productivity Enhancement

The Customized Training Program is designed to make a difference in your bottom line, whether your organization is creating jobs, investing in new machinery and equipment, or streamlining processes for efficiency. Our Services range from job profiling, pre-employment training and assessment, to post-hire critical soft skills training.

In a rapidly changing global economy in which innovation means the difference between business success and failure, the skills industries require of their employees evolve more rapidly than ever before. At Forsyth Tech, North Carolina’s world-renowned Customized Training Program will create success for your company and your employees by quickly responding to industry’s changing skills needs.

To discuss a Customized Training Project and explore State Funded Workforce Development for your business, Contact Lisa Hawk at 336.734.7705, or email

Job Task Analyses

A multi-step process, job task analyses are conducted to identify the tasks associated with specific jobs and the knowledge and skills needed for employees to perform the tasks adequately. Job task analyses provide insight into why some employees perform adequately while others perform inadequately and provide sound data for developing customized training programs.

Training Needs Assessments

Obtaining input from managers and different employee groups about what they perceive as their training needs is an important first step in developing customized training programs. The primary purpose of conducting a training needs assessment is to identify gaps between the current and desired levels of employee performance, knowledge and skills. The secondary purpose is to gain an understanding of strategies that can be used to close the gap.

Emergency Services

Emergency Medical Services: Forsyth Tech offers certification courses in all levels of emergency medical services (EMS), ranging from the emergency medical technician (EMT) to the paramedic. For individuals with an EMS certification, the College offers continuing education and refresher courses and has the capability of conducting specialty courses for rescue squads.

Fire Services: In addition to offering fire and safety-related courses for business and industry, Forsyth Tech also conducts advanced firefighter and rescue training for fire departments in Forsyth and Stokes counties. A wide range of continuing education fire services and specialty courses is also available.

Law Enforcement Training: To prepare individuals for careers in law enforcement, Forsyth Tech offers certification courses ranging from detention officer training to basic law enforcement training. The College also conducts law enforcement specialty and continuing education courses for private security agencies and city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Employee Health and Safety

Forsyth Tech offers several courses in employee health and safety. Several courses are developed to specifically meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and/or occupational credentialing requirements.

English Language Acquisition (ELA)

The ELA program provides instruction for foreign-born adults who have limited English proficiency. Students may attend seven levels of classes to acquire skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehension of the English language and acculturation to the society of the United States. No registration fee is required.

Health Occupations

Forsyth Tech Continuing Education offers courses to prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the health fields. All courses are conducted according to the guidelines of the appropriate state agency and meet the requirements for employment training and recertification or licensing. Popular courses include Certified Nursing Assistant I and II, Activity Director, Massage Therapy, Medical Office Coding, Medical Accounting, NAI Review and NAII Skills Competency and Medication Aide.

High School Equivalency Diploma

Forsyth Tech offers preparation for the nationally recognized exam which will result in a North Carolina Community College System High School Equivalency diploma. The exam offered at Forsyth Tech is the TASC™.

Human Resources Development (HRD)

The mission of Forsyth Tech’s human resources development program is to strengthen the employment and educational opportunities of the county’s residents who are unemployed or underemployed. The primary goal is to help these individuals develop the essential soft skills needed for securing and maintaining employment.

Industrial Technology

Industrial technology courses are continually updated to enable employees to learn the use of new equipment and processes. Courses are conducted according to certification, federal or state guidelines to train company employees in specialized techniques, OSHA and/or systems operations.

Institute for Human Resource Management Education

Forsyth Tech’s Institute for Human Resource Management Education offers several options for human resource management training: HR management certificate; SHRM Exam Prep; and Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) recertification courses.

The International Center of Forsyth Tech

The International Center of Forsyth Tech is located at the Transportation Center at 4255 N. Patterson Avenue in Winston-Salem. This Center serves those who live in Forsyth and Stokes Counties, but whose native country is not the USA. It is a center for education, orientation, guidance, and support for new immigrants while emphasizing English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education and entrepreneurship classes.

Languages and Cultures

A variety of language courses including occupational Spanish, English Language Acquisition (ELA) conversational Italian and Spanish are offered to meet both professional and personal needs. Language courses can be customized to suit the special needs of a company or organization. Course content, schedule, methodology, class location and length of study are based on client needs and preferences.

Pre-Employment Training

Forsyth Tech conducts pre-employment training programs for client companies to train a pool of qualified applicants for specific job vacancies. Companies can take applications and conduct interviews near the completion of the pre-employment program.

Small Business Center

The Small Business Center (SBC) provides counseling, information resources and educational programs to help current and prospective business owners begin or maintain a business. The Small Business Center also offers small business events and meetings with business counselors and offers online training as well as written and video resources. To register and for more information visit the Small Buiness Center website.

Educational Services

Basic Skill Assessments

It is often useful to determine the basic skill levels of employees prior to developing a customized training program. Validated assessment instruments are used to identify the math, reading, language and spelling competence of employees. The information gained can be used to determine if the basic skill levels of employees need to be upgraded for them to become fully job functional. The basic skill assessments can be done in either English or Spanish, and classes to help employees improve their basic skills can be conducted on site.

Educational Career Center

The Educational Career Center helps continuing education students and the general public to:

  • Develop a personalized educational career plan
  • Select Economic & Workforce Development courses and certification programs
  • Obtain information about credit certificate, diploma and degree programs
  • Review college admission requirements and financial aid applications
  • Apply for scholarships, grants and other special services
  • Conduct job searches
  • Prepare a resume
  • Enroll in education and career preparation workshops
  • · \\Utilize on-site services of partner agencies

The center is open Monday through Friday and is located in suite 102, West Campus at 1300 Bolton Street, Winston-Salem.