Monday , 11 December 2017
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Certified Work Ready Community

ScreenshotLast month’s Catawba County Education Matters podcast focused on the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative.

Workforce development has been a priority in North Carolina for many years. A talent pipeline with the necessary foundational and technical skills for success is a primary goal for education and workforce professionals.

In 2011, the NC Eastern Region began a pilot program to certify counties as NC WorkReady. This pilot serves as the model for the statewide NCWorks Certified Communities initiative. The partnership and collaboration among the North Carolina Chamber, Department of Commerce, Community College System and the Department of Public Instruction create a seamless framework for communities to become certified as work ready.

High school seniors in public schools who have a CTE concentration (four technical credits in a Career Cluster) take the ACT WorkKeys® assessments needed to earn an ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (ACT NCRC®). Community colleges throughout the state serve as instructional and testing centers for adults and transitioning youth. The North Carolina Chamber serves as the organization that will designate counties as NCWorks Certified Communities.

The NCWorks Certified Communities initiative supports economic development by providing a workforce with documented foundational skills. Other benefits include competitive cost models through lower employee turnover, decreased training time and costs, and related efficiencies that enhance North Carolina’s global competitiveness. Increasing support of the ACT NCRC is a key strategy; the goal is to have eight of the 10 largest employers in each participating county recognize or recommend the workplace credential.

Click here to listen to the podcast to learn more about the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and how it benefits our students and community.

About Julia Styers

Julia Styers is the Director of Secondary Education, Career and Technical Education, and Student Services for Newton-Conover City Schools. Julia began teaching math at Newton-Conover High School in 1983. She became Assistant Principal at N-CHS in 2004 and served as Principal of South Newton Elementary School from 2010 – 2015. She was N-CHS Teacher of the Year and the recipient of the Ben Craig Educator of the Year for Catawba County in 2003. She was the NCCS Principal of the Year in 2011 and 2014. Julia received her Bachelors of Science in Secondary Mathematics from Lenoir Rhyne College and her Masters of School Administration from Appalachian State University. She and her husband Mike are the proud parents of Brandon, Ashley, Julianne, Jason, and Jonathan and grandparents of Rylee, Nicholas, Wesson, and Beau.

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