Orangeburg edges toward Work Ready Certified status


The Orangeburg County Development Commission discussed becoming a Work Ready Certified community during a recent meeting with representatives from several Orangeburg County Consolidated School Districts and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

The panel discussion took place during the commission's annual meeting in January, and also included representatives from the South Carolina Department of Education and Workforce. 

The talk focused on Gov. Nikki Haley's earlier comments urging Orangeburg County to become a Work Ready Certified community, the benefits that such a benchmark would bring and the steps needed to make it happen. 

“We all have a stake in making our community more competitive," Kenneth Middleton, chairman of the development commission, said. "And closing the skills gap between available labor and available jobs is critical. Becoming a certified Work Ready community will help our community match the available positions with potential employees who have the required skills. The Orangeburg County Development Commission board and community knows the importance of having a capable workforce in recruitment and retention of industries."

Communities can attain Work Ready Certified status when individuals at the county level within the current, transitioning and emerging workforces earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), and local industries and businesses recognize the NCRC. 

At the end of 2014, 22 out of the 46 Counties in South Carolina had become Work Ready certified. Orangeburg County is at 86 percent of its NCRC goal. In order to attain the certification, Orangeburg County needs additional individuals and at least 18 more businesses to complete the work key assessment.

For additional information on the National Career Readiness Certificate or how a business can support the Work Ready initiative, visit the NCRC website at http://scworkready.org/faq/individuals/ or Business Support at http://workreadycommunities.org/employers.

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