Transition from Basic Skills to Curriculum & Career Climb: AHS/GED students get CRC
As hundreds of workers are laid off in Gaston County, more residents have found that work experience is not the only marketable skill that is needed in this new economy. Work experience along with proven work ready skills is what is required in today’s job market. Gaston College took a proactive role in helping Gaston County become a certified workforce by implementing Career Climb into its Basic Skills program, which serves over 4,000 students per year. Gaston Career Climb is a collaborative workforce development process that will position Gaston County as the preferred location for economic development by establishing and sustaining a nationally certified and skilled workforce.
The North Carolina Career Readiness Certification is a portable credential that certifies the core employability skills (Reading for Information, Locating Information, and Applied Mathematics) that are required across multiple industries and occupations. Individuals can earn three levels of Career Readiness Certificates based on their test performance in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.
Gaston College was the first Community College in the state of North Carolina to provide GED and Adult High School students the opportunity to earn their diploma plus a certification through the state of North Carolina. Since implementation in October 2008, Gaston College has issued 1,395 Career Readiness Certifications to AHS/GED students, making them better prepared for the workforce.
Gaston Career Climb is a partnership between local philanthropic foundations and community organizations including Gaston Together/Gaston 2012, Gaston College, Gaston County Schools, Gaston Regional Chamber, Gaston Economic Development Commission (EDC), JobLink/Employment Security Commission (ESC), Gaston Workforce Development Board, the Alliance for Children & Youth (Communities in Schools) and local business and industry.
The goal is to establish and maintain a collaborative partnership among agencies in Gaston County that are currently involved in workforce development to implement a comprehensive marketing plan to businesses to create a "demand" for existing workforce development programs. Gaston Career Climb represents a countywide approach to elevate the value of education and prepare individuals for career and salary advancement opportunities. The marketing initiative includes promoting employment skills enhancement to all citizens of Gaston County, with a focus on getting support and buy-in from local business and industry.
Gaston Career Climb is a collaborative workforce development process that will position Gaston County as the preferred location for economic development by establishing and sustaining a nationally certified and skilled workforce.
Providing Adult High School and GED graduates with the opportunity to earn a CRC is replicable to all Basic Skills programs. There is a budget requirement of $30 per student to cover the cost of the CRC. Possible funding sources include grants, foundations, or private industry.
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