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Career Readiness Certificate:
Strengthening Economic Development

The North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate Initiative is a unique workforce development resource system administered by the North Carolina Community Colleges in partnership with the local JobLink and Workforce Development Board. The System was created to strengthen an economic development environment that will assist the state in attracting new industry, facility expansions and manufacturing. By promoting a research-based, market-tested workforce assessment using WorkKeys and customized training, the System helps business, industry and public-sector employers statewide more successfully match employees' skills with specific job requirements.

The WorkKeys Program - WorkKeys was developed by American College Testing (ACT) in collaboration with employers, educators and employment experts to help employers address common human resources and workforce development challenges. WorkKeys is implemented locally by trained professionals in three phases:

  1. Job profiling to assess skills required for specific jobs
  2. Assessment of existing and prospective employees
  3. Training that is customized to employer needs

PURPOSES of the WorkKeys System - The Career Readiness Certificate Initiative was created to advance the vocational education community's ongoing efforts to provide a world-class workforce for North Carolina business and industry. A statewide network of 46 Career Readiness Centers, the WorkKeys Career Readiness System fulfills the following functions:

  • Provides a "common metric of communication" among employees, employers and educators
  • Ensures that both education and job training systems are responsive to workplace realities
  • Addresses assessment and training needs of current, transitional and emerging workforces
  • Links employers statewide with a proven research-based tool for workforce development
  • Enhances economic development by building a world-class workforce for North Carolina
  • Leverages limited state and local financial resources

BENEFITS of the WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate System - The bottom-line goal of the Career Readiness Certificate System is to provide market-driven workforce development resources that employers can use to more successfully match employees' skills to job requirements. Specific benefits of the system include the following:

  • North Carolina’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace is strengthened
  • Quality and consistency of assessment and training services for business and industry are improved
  • Employees strengthen their skills and expand their employment opportunities
  • National and Statewide "brand identity" for WorkKeys extends the impact of program
  • Affiliation with ACT adds value and credibility that attracts business and industry clients
  • Sampson County and North Carolina are more attractive sites for new business

IMPACT of the WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate System - The System has had a dramatic, positive impact on the State's efforts to provide business and industry in North Carolina with a tool that can improve productivity and competitiveness. The System's impact has been felt in the following ways:

  • The System is improving employers' ability to match workers' skills to specific job requirements
  • The System has increased the use of job profiling, skills assessment and customized training
  • Bottom-line results include less employee turnover, decreased attrition costs, reduced training time and costs, enhanced skill levels, increased productivity and improved morale
  • Actual results from Energizer in Asheboro, North Carolina included significantly reduced training time among new hires, decreased quality defects and deviations, and in the first three months of hiring following the implementation of the WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate System, skills-related turnover went to zero

Contact Information

Toledo Kemmer, Career Readiness Specialist,
tkemmer@sampsoncc.edu (910) 592-7176, ext. 4003 ASSESSMENT

Alonza Royal, HRD Coordinator,
(910) 592-7176, ext. 4014 SKILLS TRAINING

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