During a recent news conference, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley released the “application and guidelines for counties that want to participate in the South Carolina Work Ready Communities initiative.”
South Carolina’s involvement is part of the ACT Certified Work Ready Community pilot program. In South Carolina, the goal of such an initiative is to certify the ability and quality of a county’s workforce. Criteria considered for certification include a county’s high school graduation rate, business support, development of soft skills among workers and the number of individuals who hold a National Career Readiness Certificate.
As one of four states participating in a test program, South Carolina is working to eliminate any lack of skill in its workforce and aiming to make itself a more capable and competitive state overall. The status of a certified job candidate will demonstrate that he or she has adequate skills in applied math, reading for information and locating information.
“We’re participating in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative because this program offers a nationally recognized and respected credential that shows businesses that South Carolina has the workforce and expertise that they need in order to grow,” Haley said.
Lewis F. Gossett, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance said that a highly skilled and qualified workforce builds the foundation of economic prosperity.
“Through this cooperative local approach that aligns economic development, education and workforce development, South Carolina will be able to demonstrate we have a ready workforce that can be competitive,” Gossett said.
Participation in the pilot program complements other South Carolina initiatives that support the development of a qualified and capable workforce including readySC and an advanced South Carolina Technical College System. Such efforts contribute to a healthy economic climate and new South Carolina business opportunities.