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7 more S.C. counties achieve Work Ready Communities designation

Author: Staff Report

Source: Columbia Regional Business Report

April 22, 2015

Seven more South Carolina counties achieved certification through the Work Ready Communities initiative Wednesday, further sealing the state’s top position in the national program.

Barnwell, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Lee, Lexington and Marion joined the already 22 other counties with the designation, more than any other state in the nation. South Carolina would be the first state in the nation to be completely certified work ready should it be able to designate the remaining 17 counties.

“We are well on our way to becoming the nation’s first certified work ready state, and that is a huge reason to celebrate in every part of South Carolina,” Haley said. “This is a perfect example of Team South Carolina coming together to prove how committed we are to training a highly skilled workforce that is capable of meeting every need a company in our state may have.”

To become a work ready community, a county must reach or exceed goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates, match or surpass the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage and engage business support.

Some of the specific workforce and educational goals which must be met include training facilities and the capability to train workers for certain industries and getting buy-in from education and vocational associations.

These certifications provide a signal to businesses recruited by South Carolina economic developers that their state has a more-than-capable workforce ready to fill its employment needs.

“Seven more counties gaining certification illustrates just how committed South Carolina is to developing a world-class workforce,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “We have seen record employment highs in our state over the past year, and with more than half of South Carolina’s counties now certified as work ready communities, this will further pave the way to filling those open jobs with qualified workers.”


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