Work Ready Communities

As part of the state’s comprehensive workforce development effort, NCWorks, North Carolina has launched a statewide initiative to certify communities and counties as NCWorks Certified Work Ready Communities. This initiative is a collaborative effort between workforce development partners including the Office of the Governor, the North Carolina Chamber, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the North Carolina Community College System Office and the North Carolina Department of Commerce aimed at leveraging data and analysis tools to continue economic growth in North Carolina.

In 2005, the North Carolina Community College System, in partnership with the Department of Commerce, began a pilot program to assist individuals in achieving the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).  To ensure its success, the Eastern Carolina Workforce Development Board began offering WIN pre-assessment services through the local Career Centers and WIOA Service Providers allowing customers to prepare for their CRC. 

Community Benefits

By participating in the NCWorks Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, counties, regions and states are helping:

  • Business and industry know exactly which foundational skills they need for a productive workforce – and to easily communicate their needs
  • Individuals understand which skills are required by employers – and how to prepare themselves for success
  • Policy makers consistently measure the skills gap in a timely manner at the national, state and local levels
  • Educators close the skills gap, via tools integrated into career pathways with stackable industry-recognized credentials
  • Economic developers use an on-demand reporting tool to market the quality of their workforce


In order to be certified as an NCWorks Work Ready County, a community must meet each of the following criteria:

  • A letter of commitment to workforce excellence from county leaders
  • Progress in the high school graduation rate toward the goal of 94%.
  • Achieve the number of National Career Readiness Certificates indicated in the Common Criteria
  • Gain commitment from employers to recognize the NCRC.

We would like to congratulate the following counties for demonstrating their commitment to workforce excellence and earning the designation as certified WorkReady Communities:

Wayne County - certified April 16, 2015

Lenoir County - certified April 16, 2015

Craven County - certified October 19, 2015

Jones County - certified October 19, 2015

Greene County - certified November 10, 2015

Pamlico County - certified November 12, 2015

Duplin County - certified April 19, 2016

Onslow County - certified April 19, 2016

Carteret County - certified February 2018