LILLINGTON — For Delores Yeager, enrolling in the Human Resources Development program at Central Carolina Community College was “a second chance.”
The 48-year-old Harnett County resident had worked 13 years as an accounts payable specialist. Three years ago, she was laid off and couldn’t find a permanent job.
“It brought me down mentally and emotionally,” she said. “I lost my self-esteem, confidence and motivation.”
On August 19, she felt renewed as one of the latest graduates of Human Resources Development’s Career Readiness Certification program. At a Recognition Ceremony at the college’s Harnett County Campus, a total of 23 adults, including Yeager, were honored for achievement on CRC workforce skills assessment tests in applied math, reading for information, and locating information.
Career Readiness Certification assessments are based on ACT Inc.’s WorkKeys national job skills assessment system. Certificates are awarded at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, indicating the levels achieved in the three skill areas. A Gold Certificate indicates that the person has the assessed skill levels required in 90 percent of jobs; Silver, skills required for 65 percent; and Bronze, 35 percent. Yeager received a Silver Level Career Readiness Certificate.
Yeager came to Human Resources Development in the college’s Continuing Education Department in the spring to update her computer and workplace readiness skills. Preparing for and taking the CRC assessments were part of that update.
“I am here to tell you it is never too late to learn and learning can be fun,” she told those gathered for the recognition ceremony.
Yeager continues to upgrade her skills and is now taking QuickBooks Pro. She’s also studying to earn her Gold Level Certificate.
“The HRD classes and achieving my CRC have given me confidence and mental security that I can achieve,” she said. “I’ve been doing some soul-searching and I’m thinking about taking curriculum classes, maybe even veterinary technology.”
Workforce development has been a major purpose of Central Carolina Community College since it first started offering classes almost a half-century ago. HRD assists adults in gaining basic skills to be successful in the workplace, whether they are entering the workforce for the first time, are dislocated workers or under-employed.
In 2008, the Career Readiness Certificate was added to the HRD program offerings to complement the other credentials the college offers, such as GED and high school diplomas, vocational certificates and diplomas, and associate degrees.
The CRC is recognized by employers nationwide as a validation of key employability skills a current or potential employee brings to the workplace. It saves employers time and expense by enabling them to hire workers who have the necessary foundational skills for a position. It benefits the person seeking employment or promotion by providing a recognized certification of essential job skills.
Kim Miller, who earned Gold Level certification, traveled from Virginia to take part in the recognition ceremony and thank Nicole Brown, the college’s Harnett County CRC coordinator, for her encouragement. Since receiving her certification, Miller, formerly of Harnett County, was hired as a purchasing associate with a company in Virginia.
Richard Modicue, of Harnett County, had been out of school for 30 years when he enrolled in HRD classes and the CRC skills assessment program, where he earned a Silver Level Certificate. He was surprised at how much he enjoyed being in a learning environment again.
He also enrolled in the college’s JobsNOW welding program and has earned a certificate in that as well. Modicue now has the confidence to take on the challenge of earning a college degree. He’s already enrolled in human services technology classes at CCCC.
“I never thought that I would be attending school again, but HRD, CRC and JobsNOW have made it possible,” he said.
Members of the latest CRC completion class and certificates earned are: Gold Level — Sharon Huskey and Kimberly Miller; Silver Level — Dianna Alford, Irene Fuentes, Jackie Gore, Cynthia Hiner, Allen Jaskolka, Jeanette McLean, LaJuana McNeill, Richard Modicue, Marilyn Moore, Sherri Spearman, Noreen Stone, Anthony Underhill, Gerald Vaughan, Kenneth Williams Jr. and Delores Yeager; and Bronze Level — Gladys Clegg, Daisy Haywood, Donna Mason, Willie Rich, Erik Smith and Glenda Wood. All are current residents of Harnett County, except for Miller and Fuentes, who have relocated.
Five of the certificate recipients couldn’t make the Recognition Ceremony. They had already found jobs and were at work, Brown said.
The North Carolina Workforce Development Commission sponsors the CRC in partnership with the North Carolina Community College System, Workforce Development Boards, JobLink Career Centers, Employment Security Commissions, and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Central Carolina Community College is the administrative entity for local Workforce Investment Act funds for Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Sampson counties.
For more information about Human Resources Development or the Career Readiness Certificate in Harnett County, call (910) 814-8852; in Lee, call (919) 775-2122, ext. 7798; and in Chatham, call (919) 545-8047.