Henry receives ‘Work Ready Community’ certification
Henry County has been designated as Virginia’s first Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) by the commonwealth and American College Testing.
State officials said the designation should help the county in recruiting businesses and creating jobs. The county had a unemployment rate of 6.7 in August. Its jobless rate averaged 7.7 percent last year.
To become certified, the county had to achieve benchmarks in three areas: high-school graduation rate, number of National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) credentials attained and number of local employers recognizing NCRC.
More than 60 local employers, educational institutions and workforce development organizations supported the county's efforts to achieve national certification.
“To be able to document, ‘I am ready to go to work’ with a nationally recognized credential sets individuals throughout our community on a new career pathway,” Angeline Godwin, president of Patrick Henry Community College, said in a statement. “Having the community meet 100 percent of the goals established for us through this initiative is a milestone in our region.”
Site Selection Magazine recently added the number of National Career Readiness Certificates per 1,000 residents as part of its tabulations for its annual “Top Ten Competitive States” list.
Knowing that job candidates have verifiable workplace skills expedites the hiring process for new businesses, state officials said.
In addition to Henry County, five neighboring Southern Virginia localities are on track to receive CWRC designations in the next six months. They include Patrick, Pittsylvania and Halifax counties and the cities of Danville and Martinsville.
Greensville County and Emporia also launched CWRC initiatives in August.