Oconee County ranks high in National Career Readiness Certificates

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Oconee County ranks high in National Career Readiness Certificates

By Emily Hodge

The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a test administered to high school students nation-wide as part of the ACT® WorkKeys® assessments. These tests are divided into three components: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. Each of these components is used to measure broad foundational employability skills of the test taker.

A recent article by Site Selection Magazine shows Oconee County, South Carolina as one of the highest ranked micropolitan counties by NCRCs. Oconee is shown as having over 4,000 NCRCs, making it sixth in the nation. With an estimated workforce of 34,400, this shows that 12% of workers in Oconee County have achieved this certification. The School District of Oconee County recently released a statement that 88.5% of all 11th graders received the NCRC last spring. The district’s superintendent, Dr. Michael Thorsland, said that this places Oconee students above the state percentage. While he is pleased with these statistics, he stated that, “Our goal is for all SDOC students to obtain the credential.” Such a goal will aid Oconee County in its economic development pursuits.

With the topic of “Workforce Readiness” becoming increasingly more important in the realm economic development criteria, it is refreshing to see Oconee County rank so highly with the number of National Career Readiness Certifications. The county’s level of NCRCs makes it a strong contender in today’s economy, and a leader amongst the micropolitans of the nation. With the goals of our local public schools, we can only expect to see a continued increase in the number of these certifications obtained, and an increase in the overall quality of Oconee County’s workforce.

Emily Hodge is an Economic Development Specialist for the Oconee Economic Alliance, which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit

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