What is an ACT® Work Ready Community?
ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC) empowers states, regions and counties with data, process and tools that drive economic growth. Participants are leveraging the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC™) to measure and close the skills gap — and building common frameworks that link, align and match their workforce development efforts.
ACT is leading this national effort and offers the ACT Work Ready Communities Academy — a performance-driven program WRC leadership teams use to initiate, deploy and drive carefully-tailored efforts that grow the number of counties certified as work ready communities. South Carolina’s initiative certifies the quality of the workforce based on 4 criteria. Counties must meet goals for high school graduation, soft skills development, business support, and National Career Readiness Certificate holders.
South Carolina's Certified Work Ready Communities initiative aims to ensure the growth of South Carolina communities by creating an environment conducive to business and workforce development. The state's work ready leadership team continues to foster and build a coordinated and uniform partnership among stakeholders using the Work Ready Communities approach, leveraging and maximizing its collective workforce development efforts at the county, regional and state level.
South Carolina's vision is to ensure a ready workforce that serves as an economic development tool to attract and maintain businesses in the state. Its vision is to link education and workforce development together and align with economic development needs of the state, its regions and communities.
The Work Ready Community initiative enables community leaders to rally behind the concept of a ready-to-work workforce. Mayors, council members, superintendents, principals, teachers, and business leaders cheerlead this effort, creating a team approach to workforce development.
The motivation for their engagement will be the achievement of being recognized as a Work Ready Community.
As part of the certification process, there are goals to meet:
National Career Readiness Certificate
National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC™) obtained at the county level representing the current (private and government workers), emerging (High School Juniors/Seniors and College Student) and transitioning (unemployed and Adult Education participants) workforce. NCRC™ are obtained by individuals completing the three basic WorkKeys® Assessments: Reading | Math | Locating Information. Individuals scoring a minimum on all three tests will obtain an NCRC™. Total NCRCs required per County:
Local businesses officially support the county’s initiative (based on the number of businesses in a county). Number of supporting businesses required per county: Spartanburg – 149; Cherokee – 46; Union – 24.
County Graduation Rate
Counties are required to meet a 73.1% graduation rate based on a three year county (not District or State) average and/or a one to two percent increase of the three year average baseline aligned with the SC Department of Education annual improvement goals. Graduation rates per county for 2009 – 2011: Spartanburg – 77.1%; Cherokee – 79.5%; Union – 72.3%.
25% of all individuals within a county obtaining a WorkKeys® Assessment and NCRC™ will be required to take the ACT WorkKeys® Talent assessment. This is a measure of soft skills that provides insight into personal characteristics that are directly related to on-the-job success. This will result in individuals obtaining an NCRC™ Plus.
All South Carolina counties have achieved the initial certification and are now in the maintenance phase.
Percent of maintenance phase goals met: Spartanburg County - 92%, Cherokee County - 98%, Union County - 76%.