College News

Lee County named Certified Work Ready Community

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03.20.2017College & Community

From Sanford Area Growth Alliance

SANFORD - Lee County has been certified as an NC Works Certified Work Ready Community by The North Carolina Chamber Foundation. As a part of the state's comprehensive workforce development effort, North Carolina launched a statewide initiative in 2013 to certify communities as NCWorks Certified Work Ready Communities.

Obtaining this certification has been a collaborative effort between Central Carolina Community College, Lee County Schools and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce. Lee County is one of only 22 counties in the state holding this distinction.

Bob Joyce, the Economic Development Executive Director for the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, stated, "As economic conditions have improved in central NC, companies relocating or expanding here are increasingly concerned about attracting and retaining highly skilled employees. The Work Ready designation for Lee County assures companies that we are doing everything possible to provide them with that skilled workforce."

Certification begins with a letter of commitment to workforce excellence from county leaders, and the school district convened business leaders to agree to move forward to achieve the certification. The Triangle South Workforce Development Board produced the letter that indicates they will recommend the North Carolina Career Readiness Certification to employers and job seekers. The Career Readiness Certification is a test that measures one's employability skills. An individual can earn various levels of achievement in the areas of reading for information, math, and locating information.

To receive the certification, Lee County had requirements for the high school graduation rate, the number of individuals who take the test, and the number of employers who must agree to recognize the certification as a reliable source of information regarding the job seeker's skill set. CCCC, Lee County Schools and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance partnered with over 80 businesses that are now accepting the certification.

"At GKN Driveline, we are able to better identify quality employees by recognizing the Career Readiness Certification (CRC), which in return, eases our hiring process." said Jodi Stolzenberger, HR Manager, GKN Driveline of Sanford.

On April 3, at 9 a.m., a community celebration will take place at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. The NC Chamber Foundation will present the certification to the Lee County community. Local businesses will be recognized for their partnership in this effort, and there will be a presentation on the importance of the certification to education and economic development.