Terry M. Bellamy has been hired at A-B Tech Community College as the Work Ready Communities and UpSkill WNC Consultant.
Bellamy will assist with workforce development-related issues through Buncombe County’s Work Ready Communities’ Initiative.
Work Ready is an initiative for Buncombe County that focuses on individuals bettering their employability and job-related skills by taking the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) exam, a credential recognized by thousands of employers across the United States.
The CRC WorkKeys Assessment program, created by ACT and offered at A-B Tech, assesses essential workplace skills and verify proficiency in the areas most employers require on the job. The certification ensures employers that new employees have the skills that their company or industry deems necessary and that individuals are ready to work. Employers using the CRC during the hiring process indicate that CRC certification lowers hiring costs and increases retention rates.
Bellamy, who served as mayor of Asheville from 2005-13, would like to see 2018 as the Year of Workforce Development in Buncombe County through an ongoing collaborative recognition of all of the training programs that are available within the area and speaker series She has been meeting with industry leaders and business owners to discuss the advantages of recognizing the CRC within their hiring practices.
“In 2011, North Carolina’s State Board of Education began to use the CRC results for high schools in their READY school accountability model,” Bellamy said. “In 2013-14, there was a big push in the recognition and implementation of the CRC and Work Ready Communities initiatives with the Department of Public Instruction leading the Career Readiness Certificate adoption efforts, along with North Carolina Community Colleges and the NC Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great collaboration from the workforce development side, as well as the employers’ side. Locally, we want to make sure we have every tool in our toolbox to recruit manufacturing and other businesses to our community.”
Bellamy also stressed that employers often advertise for positions that are based on job descriptions that do not fully recognize the needs of the job, which impacts training. Through the job profiling that is available through the CRC process, employers can get a more accurate and complete picture of their organization’s needs for specific positions. There is a fee associated with the job profiling, but companies who have utilized the services have seen the return on investment through decreased onboarding and training costs.