SC Work Ready Communities


In July 2016, South Carolina became the first fully certified state in the nation. Each county had to meet each criteria in order to be considered certified as one of the Work Ready Communities. Below is the list of the criteria that each county had to meet.

Certification Criteria

The first step in becoming a Work Ready Community is creating a strategy to meet your county criteria.

County goals are calculated using census population and labor force data. Counties are grouped into small, medium and large categories to provide each county with an equal opportunity for achievement.

Other criteria are aligned to S.C. Department of Education goals and the needs of businesses.

The following are the required categories to become a South Carolina Certified Work Ready Community.

 National Career Readiness Certificate


NCRCCertificate_PLUS_IndividualsThe ACT® National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC) is a skill-based certificate that assists individuals in obtaining employment. It is also used as a tool used to quantify and qualify the skill  level of the workforce in each county.

The NCRC is available to individuals upon completion of three ACT WorkKeys® assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. These individuals include existing workers who wish to certify their skills, emerging workers from high schools and colleges ready to enter the job market and transitioning workers who wish to re-enter the workforce.

Individuals with a minimum score of three on each assessment earn a NCRC.

The NCRC goal is met when the specified number of individuals per county receive certification.


 Business Support


This goal is achieved through local businesses officially supporting the county’s initiative. Support can include any one of the following:

  • Job Profiling
  • Using Job Profiles and the NCRC as part of the hiring and training process
  • Sharing with others the benefits of participating

Businesses can sign up to support SCWRC by completing the online ACT® Employer Listing Registration form.

 County Graduation Rate


Counties are required to meet a 73.1 percent graduation rate based on a three-year county average and/or a 1-2 percent increase of the three-year average baseline aligned with the S.C. Department of Education annual improvement goals.


 fourSoft Skills


25 percent of all individuals within a county that take the WorkKeys® assessment and earn a NCRC are required to take the ACT WorkKeys® Talent assessment. This measures soft skills and provides insight into personal characteristics that are directly related to on-the-job success. Individuals who successful complete this test will earn an NCRC Plus.

Click here to see your county’s required goals in each category.

Counties have two years to meet the requirements of the SCWRC initiative. ACT data will not change however, graduation improvement rates are updated annually.

Once attained, a county’s certification status is valid for two years. Counties will have an opportunity to continue through a recertification process.