North Carolina Tool Tracks College Grad Data

By Michelle Massie
August 8, 2014

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) recently rolled out an online tool called NC TOWER  (Tool for Online Workforce and Education Reporting), that provides up to 10 years of post-graduation employment, wage and continuing enrollment outcomes for graduates of the University of North Carolina system and North Carolina Community College System.

The tool will provide information to stakeholders interested in the outcomes of the state’s public higher education programs. Students and parents can weigh college options, while others such as policymakers, workforce development and education professionals can use NC TOWER for economic development and program planning and evaluation efforts.

Visual comparisons of program outcomes across degree types, subject areas and campuses are possible through NC TOWER. Users of the site can review industries and determine which ones pay the highest wages for graduates, and see if students find jobs in North Carolina.

According to the state Department of Commerce, wage and employment information was derived from Unemployment Insurance wage records maintained by the department’s Division of Employment Security (DES). The system contains wage and employment information on all individuals working within North Carolina in jobs covered by the unemployment system. 

NC TOWER was developed by LEAD in collaboration with the North Carolina Community College System, the University of North Carolina General Administration and the North Carolina Office of Information Technology Services.

Funding came from General Assembly appropriations for the operation of the Common Follow-up System (CFS) as well as a Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.