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KC recognized as SC Work Ready Community

Posted: March 21, 2013 5:11 p.m.
Updated: March 22, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The S.C. State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) recently recognized Kershaw County as a South Carolina Work Ready Community in Progress. Kershaw County is one of 34 counties whose applications to become Work Ready communities have been accepted by the state steering committee. Kershaw County earned the designation by demonstrating a commitment in meeting its two-year criteria, which includes improving high school graduation rates, obtaining WorkKeys assessments National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRCs), and having an alignment of community stakeholders in achieving county goals.

Along with a state steering committee, each county also has its own steering committee which is organized by local stakeholders. Members of the local committee must include school district, technical college, industry, chamber of commerce, a county economic development and local workforce board representatives, and other workforce partners and elected officials as needed.

According to ACT (formerly known as American College Testing), the WorkKeys assessment is a system designed to help employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high performance workforce. The series of tests measures foundational and soft skills and offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs.

Each community created a team of key community stakeholders including education, economic development and elected officials; employers; and community organizations who will work collectively to meet the certification criteria in order for Kershaw County to become a Certified Work Ready Community. Kershaw County will now be given two years to meet the goals necessary to become a Certified Work Ready Community.

The goal of South Carolina’s Certified Work Ready Communities (SCWRC) initiative is to ensure the growth of communities by creating an environment conducive to business and workforce development.

According to the Work Ready Communities website, “the Work Ready Community initiative enables community leaders to rally behind the concept of a ready-to-work workforce. Mayors, council members, superintendents, principals, teachers, and business leaders cheerlead this effort, creating a team approach to workforce development.”

The SCWRC initiative, developed by ACT, is a public-private initiative whose mission is to empower counties in developing a workforce that meets the needs and challenges of a global economy. A Work Ready Community is a measure of the quality of a county’s workforce. South Carolina was one of the four pilot states selected to participate in the program.

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