South Carolina is the first state in the county become fully certified under the “work ready” program. All 46 counties have met the specified workforce and education goals.
Jasper and Richland counties became the final two counties in South Carolina to achieve the designation, meaning all 46 counties in the state meet the required ACT standards on matching education to workforce needs.
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) spokesman Bob Bouyea told South Carolina Radio Network that it’s a way to match an individual’s skills with jobs. “That means that a certain number of people have taken the test and have scored where they are on their skills. And then we try to apply that to jobs that are available,” Bouyea said.
The test is usually part of the school curriculum. “A lot of them take it in high school. All 11th graders take this test,” said Bouyea. “Others can take it at our work centers around the state.”
“Now what we have is currently in the state over 353,000 people have taken this test,” Bouyea said.
To become a South Carolina Work Ready Community, each county had to reach or exceed goals in earning National Career Readiness Certificates achieved through testing.They also had to meet or exceed the three-year graduation rate average or improvement percentage, and had to engage business support.