Career Readiness

North Carolina Career Readiness Certification (CRC)

The North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate is a portable credential that promotes skills and career development for individuals and confirms to employers that the certificate holder possesses basic workplace skills in Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. The CRC is based on the WorkKeys System of measuring "real world" skills that employer believe are critical to job success. The system awards 3 levels of certification - Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

To earn a CRC signed by the governor of North Carolina, you should successfully pass the WorkKeys' Applied Mathematics, Reading For Information, and Locating Information tests.

Cost: $30.00 (includes CRC certificate.) Retesting fee is $10.00 per test and an additional $5.00 is required to upgraded a CRC certificate to a Silver or Gold level.

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WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system measuring “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. These skills are valuable for any occupation and at any level of education. When you use WorkKeys to show you are ready to work, you have an advantage with employers who accept or require job applicants to have WorkKeys scores. A growing number of local companies and businesses and states are adopting WorkKeys to ensure that all their workers have needed skills.

For more information about Wilson Community College's "Ready for Work" program, contact

Charis Lewis

Wilson Community College receives $135,000 Golden LEAF Grant for Ready for Work Program

Wilson County employers indicate that there is a significant shortfall of prepared workers to meet their hiring needs and are constantly seeking ways to increase the effectiveness of and improving the return on investment (ROI) in their hiring processes. Rob Holsten,Vice President Academic Affairs at Wilson Community College states, “there are significant job vacancies in Wilson, but there is a lack of qualified applicants for these positions. Job seekers often lack the minimum math, reading, and employability skills necessary in today’s work environment.”

Wilson Community College received $135,000 in funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation’s Community Assistance Initiative to develop and implement a new workforce development program, “Ready for Work”, that will lead to a credentialed workforce in Wilson County to assist in industry recruitment and retention and employment for an unemployed workforce.

The “Ready for Work” program will address Wilson County employer’s needs for qualified, job ready workers by creating a credentialed pool of applicants and increase the awareness among employers of these skilled workers. The "Ready for Work" program will increase the use of the WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), an assessment-based credential developed by ACT, Inc. to give employers, educators, economic developers, and business and industries a standard for employee assessment and recruitment.
The CRC assesses job skills and simplifies hiring by streamlining the application process and matching the right person with the right job. Using the CRC in hiring can reduce employee training time and reduce the turnover of existing employees. It certifies to an employer that the worker has the basic workplace skills in reading for information, applied math, and locating information - skills that 85 percent of all jobs require but applicants do not possess.

The CRC is endorsed by The National Association of Manufacturing (NAM), the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC),The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), The American Welding Society (AWS), and The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). In addition, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has indicated that effective with the 2012/13 academic year, 12th grade students in Career & Technical Education pathways who complete four technical high school courses will take the WorkKeys (CRC) test. Nationally and statewide, the support and use of the CRC is growing, yet in Wilson County, there remains a lack of awareness about what the CRC is and the value of using the CRC.

Wilson Community College will utilize grant funds to hire a full-time program coordinator to oversee the “Ready for Work” program. The goal of the program is to bring awareness of the CRC to Wilson businesses and industries, increase the use and number of businesses and industries requiring the CRC in hiring, and to prepare a workforce with a portable credential that signifies they are ready for work. “We are excited about receiving the funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation to help us prepare a credentialed workforce and meet the hiring needs of our employers,” Holsten says.

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission.