South Carolina's Aiken and Union counties recently became the 43rd and 44th counties in the Palmetto State to be certified as South Carolina Work Ready Communities (SCWRC).
This certification is awarded to communities that have met workforce and education goals set forth in the initiative, which is available in all 50 states. To date, South Carolina boasts the most certified communities in the nation.
“With Aiken and Union counties being named Certified Work Ready, we are only two counties away from reaching our goal of being the first state in the country to be fully certified," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said. "This is a testament of Team South Carolina’s hard work in making sure we have the most competitive business environment in the world for companies looking for a place to call home."
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce executive director Cheryl M. Stanton said the addition of Union and Aiken counties as Certified Work Ready was significant not only for the counties themselves, but for South Carolina as a whole.
“With the Work Ready initiative, and a continuing commitment to skilled workforce development, it is not surprising that employment numbers have been at historic highs over the last year, and companies continue to expand and choose South Carolina as the place to do business,” Stanton said.
Certification goals include earning National Career Readiness Certificates (achieved through WorkKeys testing); exceeding the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage; and engaging business support programs.