CCCC-Harnett holds CRC graduation ceremony
LILLINGTON - Allene Ferguson, of Dunn, has realized one thing in life: "You'll never know what you can do unless you try."
Ferguson made that remark during a time of sweet success for her: receiving her Career Readiness Certificate from Central Carolina Community College's Human Resources Development program.
HRD, part of the college's Continuing Education Department, recognized 30 Career Readiness Certificate recipients at a ceremony Aug. 11 at the college's Harnett County Campus.
"At first, I didn't want the trouble of studying and preparing to take CRC examinations," Ferguson told the other graduates of the program, "but I found out it would be helpful in my employment."
Ferguson said she almost gave up, but she didn't.
"I'm glad I didn't give up because when I received my Bronze-level certificate, I was so proud of myself," she said.
The program graduates were recognized for their achievements on CRC foundational workforce skills assessment tests in applied math, reading for information, and locating information.
The certificates are earned by studying and taking assessments based on ACT Inc.'s WorkKeys national job skills assessment system. Certificates are awarded at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, indicating the levels achieved in the three skill areas. A Gold Certificate indicates that the person has the foundational workforce skill levels required in 90 percent of jobs; Silver, skills required for 65 percent; and Bronze, 35 percent.
In 2008, the Career Readiness Certificate was added to the HRD program to complement other credentials the college offers, such as GED and high school diplomas, vocational certificates and diplomas, and associate degrees.
The CRC is recognized by employers nationwide as a valid indicator of the level of key employability skills a current or potential employee has. It saves employers time and money by enabling them to hire workers with the necessary foundational skills for a position. It benefits the person seeking employment or promotion by providing a recognized certification of essential job skills.
At the ceremony, several previous graduates returned to share their success stories with the new graduates. One of these was Jeanette McLean, of Dunn. She had worked in a factory for 23 years when she was let go in 2008. She enrolled in the HRD program to learn new workforce skills, and then enrolled in the CRC program.
"The first couple of days were so hard, I started to quit," she said. "Thank God, I had a great teacher in Nicole Brown, who encouraged me to be patient with myself and said 'I can't' is not an option."
McLean received her Bronze Certificate in 2009 and her Silver Certificate in 2010. She gained such confidence that she enrolled in and earned her certificates in the college's Certified Nursing Assistant programs. She now has a job she loves doing home health care.
Sharon Chandler, of Angier, was laid off in 2007 and decided to come to CCCC to train for a career in the medical field. She participated in the college's JobsNow and Human Resources Development programs, earning her CRC Gold level certification in 2010. Chandler now works at a kidney dialysis center.
"I absolutely love it," she told the CRC recipients. "If you have found yourself here because of something beyond your control, like a layoff, you can turn it around for your good, for something positive. If you are here because you've decided to make a career change, keep going, don't stop, because it is obtainable."
Those who were honored at the program for earning their certifications were:
Gold level - Victor Bass, of Lillington, and Luther Tannerhill, of Linden;
Silver level - Demetrius Dahilia, Jamerson Campbell and Connie Greene, all of Dunn; Ricky Blackmon, of Lillington; Dora Martinez, of Angier; Louis Scrantino, of Fuquay Varina; and Mary Mitchell, of Spring Lake;
Bronze level - Angela Gunn, Ebony Ray, Judy Walker, Prentiss McLean, and Mayanna Geddie, all of Bunnlevel; Jamaica Wilkerson, and Allene Ferguson, both of Dunn; Jeanette Grady and Paulette Chance, both of Lillington; Jeremy Aycock, of Godwin; Sylvia McLean, of Erwin; and Jamie Brannon, of Angier.
Greene is a Human Resources Development instructor at the Harnett Campus. At the graduation, she compared the students' journey to obtaining their CRCs to the journey of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz."
"Look life (the Wicked Witch of the West) in the face and decided that you will win with some fire (passion) of your own," she said.
Attending the ceremony to congratulate the CRC recipients were Dr. Stelfanie Williams, CCCC vice president of Economic and Community Development; Bill Tyson, CCCC Harnett provost; Phyllis Huff, dean of Adult and Continuing Education; Len Royals, CCCC-Harnett director of Continuing Education; Patricia Stone-Hackett, CRC coordinator; Nicole Brown, HRD instructor/coordinator; Jim Futrell, CRC Advisory Board chairman; and Clem Medley, CCCC trustee.
The North Carolina Workforce Development Commission sponsors the CRC in partnership with the North Carolina Community College System, Workforce Development Boards, JobLink Career Centers, Employment Security Commissions, and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Central Carolina Community College is the administrative entity for local Workforce Investment Act funds for Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Sampson counties.
For more information about CCCC's Human Resources Development programs or the Career Readiness Certificate, call (910) 814-8852 in Harnett County; (919) 775-2122, ext. 7798, in Lee County; and (919) 545-8047 in Chatham County.
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