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VGCC Offers Career Readiness Certificates

Vance-Granville Community College’s Human Resources Development (HRD) department is now helping job applicants earn a Career Readiness Certificate, or CRC, as part of a new national program in which North Carolina is participating.“A CRC gives a person a boost in seeking the job or promotion he or she wants, because it tells employers that an employee has the skills it takes to succeed in today’s economy,” Kyle Burwell, the college’s HRD coordinator, explained. “After taking assessments called WorkKeys, which examine the foundational skills needed for virtually every occupation, you can be on your way to a credential that will be recognized across the state, and in many other states, as well.”The first step in the process involves taking three WorkKeys exams: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. Recipients are awarded certificates of Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels, depending on their test scores. The higher the level, the more jobs for which the applicant qualifies. A Gold certificate signifies that a recipient possesses skills for 90 percent of jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these skill areas.Career Readiness Certificates can be used as a complement to diplomas, degrees, and resumes, giving job seekers an advantage in the interview process and giving businesses a way to recognize skilled applicants. Recipients can present their certificates, which list their exam scores and interpretations of those scores, when they apply for jobs. Businesses will be able to use the CRC to help determine if a job applicant is ready for a specific job or for required training programs. Among the area companies that accept the certificates are IAMS, Novozymes and Revlon.The basis of the National Career Readiness Certificate is ACT’s WorkKeys job skill assessment system. Over the last 12 years, WorkKeys has been used by thousands of companies, schools, and workforce development institutions for employee hiring and development. Companies that have used WorkKeys have seen reduced turnover among employees, as well as improved productivity and training proficiency. The system also includes a database that connects businesses that accept CRCs with recipients, listings of jobs with the WorkKeys skill levels necessary for them, and recipients’ WorkKeys scores, as well as training to help certificate-seekers to boost their skill levels and obtain a certificate. ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management services in the broad areas of education and workforce development. ACT is best known for the ACT test, which is taken before entering college. “In the 1950s, ACT created a nationally recognized, standardized resource for college entrance. Now, we’re doing the same thing for the workforce,” said Richard L. Ferguson, CEO and chairman of ACT. “The National Career Readiness system is designed to help skilled job seekers connect with employers, and to help employees attain and highlight the skills needed for advancement.”For more information on how you can earn a Career Readiness Certificate, contact Kyle Burwell at (252) 738-3276 or CRC coordinator Audrey Brown at (252) 738-3436. WorkKeys assessments are offered at least once each month on the college’s main campus in Henderson.For more information about CRC’s in North Carolina, visit http://www.crcnc.com/.