State Chamber of Commerce Foundation Certifies Efforts to Document and Build Craven County Workforce Skills to Drive Economic Growth
The North Carolina Chamber Foundation, the policy center for the state’s largest, broad-based business advocacy organization, is pleased to announce that it has approved Craven County as an NC Works Certified Work Ready Community. An official announcement will be made at the October 19th meeting of the Craven County Board of Commissioners beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The NC Works Certified Work Ready Community initiative is a collaborative effort between workforce development partners, including the Office of the Governor, the North Carolina Chamber Foundation, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the North Carolina Community College System Office and the North Carolina Department of Commerce, aimed at leveraging data and analysis tools to continue economic growth in North Carolina. The North Carolina Chamber Foundation serves as the final certifying body to designate an NC Works Certified Work Ready Community.
To be certified as an NC Works Certified Work Ready Community, a county must meet each of the following criteria:
A letter of commitment to workforce excellence from county leaders.
Progress in the high school graduation rate toward the goal of 94 percent.
Achieve the number of National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) indicated in the Common Criteria.
Gain commitment from employers to recognize the NCRC.
Through a partnership involving Craven County Schools, Craven Community College, Craven County Economic Development and the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board, Craven County exceeded the goals of the Common Criteria. Craven County’s data can be found online at WorkReadyCommunities.org/NC/049.
The National Career Readiness Certificate demonstrates the foundational skills of job seekers in a community and serves as the basis for the Common Criteria. The NCRC can be earned through taking the ACT WorkKeys assessment which includes a battery of three tests; Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. Students from Craven County Schools enrolled in four or more Career and Technical Education courses take the WorkKeys assessment during the senior year in high school. The tests are also offered to adults through Continuing Education at Craven Community College. Over 90 employers in and around Craven County recognize the National Career Readiness Certificate as a valid certification of workplace skills. A list of employers can be found at: WorkReadyCommunities.org/NC/049.
This initiative provides a framework to empower counties with the data, processes and tools that drive economic growth. The framework aligns education, workforce development and industry while matching individuals’ skills to job requirements. The statewide rollout follows criteria established in the North Carolina Eastern Region (now NC East Alliance) Work Ready Communities pilot program which began in 2011. Craven County achieved the regional Work Ready Community designation in 2012.
For more information or to pledge business support, visit the North Carolina Chamber Foundation’s website.
Submitted by: Jennifer Wagner, Director of Public Relations, Craven County Schools