Haywood Community College recently held two Career Readiness Certificate ceremonies. Thirteen students in the Alternative Learning Center and 31 Human Resource Development students received certificates. The Career Readiness Certificate verifies to employers anywhere in the United States that an individual has essential core employability skills in reading, math, and locating information. It is used by employers for screening to interview only applicants who have the skills required for the job, for hiring and promotion as a "plus" factor to help make selection and promotion decisions, and targeting employee training and development for job-specific skills rather than basic skills.

Employers are continually faced with the challenge of receiving hundreds of applications for only a handful of openings, so Haywood Community College and the North Carolina Community College system sought a better way to accurately measure an applicant’s work skills.

“Businesses are receiving so many applications and it becomes overwhelming to sort through them. When they finally do narrow the field, the individual might interview well but the prospective employer still has no true indication of their skills in reading, locating information, applied math, observation, listening or teamwork,” says Rinda Green, Corporate and Community Education Coordinator for HCC. “Instead of relying completely on resumes or job applications, employers are discovering that a Career Readiness Certificate which confirms a person’s level of achievement, provides a missing piece of meaningful information in the hiring process.”

North Carolina’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) certifies core employability skills required across multiple industries and occupations. The Career Readiness Certificate is a portable credential that promotes career development and skill attainment for the individual. In addition, the employer has confirmation that the individual is capable of learning job specific skills.

HCC President Dr. Rose Johnson, addressed the Human Resource Development students at the ceremony. She explained how involved she was with developing the Career Readiness Certificate initiative with Virginia government before becoming president at HCC. “I worked with a team that identified the most important skill sets needed. A Career Readiness certificate is an indication to employers that you have the skill sets to be a valuable employee. It’s something to be proud of.”

HCC awarded certificates in three levels, gold, silver, and bronze. For a gold certificate, students must achieve a level of 5 or higher in all three skill areas. Silver certificates require a level of achievement of four or higher in all three areas and a silver certificate requires a level of achievement of three or higher in all three areas.

Alternative Learning Center students who were awarded a gold certificate include: Rachel Baker, Roland Morales, and Aaron Ratcliffe. Those awarded a silver certificate include: Tucker Crider, Cierra Kaymore, Joshua Lindsey, Dalton Messer, Tiera Ramey, Kelsey Russell, Marissa Sherrill, and Brooke Sisco. Bronze certificate recipients are Denver Hannah and Jacob Sutton.

Human Resource Development students awarded a gold certificate include: Benjamin Bryson, Carolyn Czaplicki, Bridget Demery, David Douchette, Amanda Edwards, James Haney, Tina Hernandez, Thomas Martin, Kathleen Scott, and Veena Taylor. Those awarded a silver certificate include: Laurie Bonthron, Miranda Brooks, Mike Coady, Josh Francis, Glenn Freck, Ray Friday, Joe Frizzell, Karen Green, Tammy Hinson, Charles Huggins, Amanda Irwin, Kimberly James, Thomas Nellist, and Clint Teague. Bronze certificate recipients are Diane Carpenter, Ashley Clark, David Messer, Steve Partain, Laura Salvaggio, and Janet Thorensen.