Certification a job well done

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Last week, the North Carolina Chamber Foundation notified Beaufort County of its designation as an NCWorks Certified Work Ready Community.

This is a big deal.

Several parties were involved in the two-year process of making the designation a reality: Beaufort County Community College (which spearheaded the process), Beaufort County Schools, the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, county officials, the NCWorks Career Center, the Committee of 100 and 62 local businesses, among others.

To be eligible, Beaufort County had to achieve certain goals, including at least 1,000 residents with National Career Readiness Certificates, a high school graduation rate progressing toward 94 percent and at least 61 supporting businesses.

The county went above and beyond and managed to exceed these goals, with more than 1,800 residents earning CRCs, 62 participating businesses and growing, and a high school graduation rate that has improved immensely over the past several years.

Beaufort County is mostly rural and considered Tier 1, but when several parties come together to make something happen, nothing can stand in the county’s way. It’s all thanks to the hard work of the thousands of people involved.

With the Work Ready Community certification, Beaufort County can better catch the attention of prospective business owners and investors. Being a Work Ready Community means an area has a work force that is qualified and educated, it means that county officials are on the same page when it comes to bettering the community, and it means job seekers have a leg up by achieving a CRC.

Beaufort County, in its own right, has always been a good place in which to invest. Its residents know that. With this stamp of approval, however, out-of-towners are more likely to take notice.

The people involved in achieving the Work Ready Community designation deserve thanks and praise. It is leaders like these who will usher the area into a thriving location for years to come.