More than 30 Oswego County high schoolers proved they already have the skills to join the workforce when they recently earned a national work-readiness credential.
A total of 34 students in the Oswego County Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) received their ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) in a ceremony at Onondaga Community College after completing assessments determining their skills with workplace documents, applied math and graphic literacy. The ACT WorkKeys initiative, which is partially funded by the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and Operation Oswego County, is offered at no cost to students or their families.
P-TECH students simultaneously earn their Regents Diploma and an Associate in Applied Science Degree in either Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Technology, and also gain industry experience. The students are the first from the Oswego County P-TECH program to receive the NCRC credential.
“This is an amazing accomplishment. Your scores are phenomenal, and that proves that you already have the skills to succeed in the workforce. You’re the first group of high school students to earn this certificate. You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished,” said Paula Hayes, the Liaison for Workforce Initiatives at Cayuga Community College’s Center for Career and Community Education and administrator for Work Ready Oswego NY.
“Employers are looking for the credential from job candidates. This certificate is highly-valued and is a valid indicator of job performance and success. This says you are ready to go to work,” said Amy Kremeneck, Vice President for Enrollment, Development & Communications at OCC. “Very few students are doing what you are doing right now. You’re paving the way.”
The national credential is the culminating award for those who complete the new ACT Work Ready Communities initiative, Work Ready Oswego NY, launched in 2019 by Cayuga Community College.
The Work Ready Oswego NY initiative is designed to close the skills gap, producing a talented workforce to meet the demands of current and future jobs. Participants of the initiative who successfully complete the required assessments earn the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, a nationally-recognized citation of the individual’s workforce skills.
This program is supported by more than 22 community partners, including Oswego County Workforce New York. This initiative has also received strong support from the local business community, including major manufacturing companies such as Huhtamaki and Novelis in Oswego County.
“I see a very intelligent, very determined, very prepared workforce here in this room. This program challenged you in different ways, and I’m very happy with what I’ve seen and what you’ve accomplished,” Huhtamaki Engineering and Maintenance Manager Greg Hilton told students. “You are several steps ahead of most students your age who are entering the workforce.”