County initiative targets manufacturing jobs

Last month Forsyth County launched a program designed to address the issue local companies have finding qualified employees. 

County initiative targets manufacturing jobs
November 22
00:00 2018

Last month Forsyth County launched a program designed to address the issue local companies have finding qualified employees. 

Work Ready Forsyth is an initiative that aims to link workforce development with education and provide labor needs for local employers. The program is available to any jobseeker, no matter if you’re a student or a transitioning adult. 

Before becoming a “Work Ready” community, county officials had to apply to become ACT certified. ACT is a national nonprofit that focuses on college and career readiness and offers individuals a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) upon completion of the training that certifies their proficiency in applied mathematics and graphic literacy. 

According to county officials, in preparation for the initiative and ACT certification earlier this year, a team which included representation from Forsyth Technical Community College, the Winston-Salem Chamber, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools formed a team to plan how the program will work here in Forsyth County. To continue the program the county will need to meet goals on how many residents are NCRC certified and how many employers will accept the certification.

High school graduation rates are another factor included in the certification process. 

Currently 48 employers have signed on to accept NCRCs; county officials are looking to raise that number to 225.

During the county briefing on Thursday, Nov. 8, Kyle Haney, an economic development specialist, said the focus area for the program will be connecting residents with available manufacturing jobs in the area. 

Taylor Strassburg, who has worked closely with Work Ready Forsyth initiative, said they are also looking to connect employees with careers in aviation and construction. She also mentioned the possibility of having local companies pay for individuals to attend college after participating in the initiative. 

“We’re really looking into all the trade industries where you don’t necessarily need a degree right away. This is not pushing away from the four-year tract, but maybe holding off gaining experience and having your company then pay for your four-year degree,” said Strassburg. “… That’s kind of the pathway we’re trying to market to these students, that you can graduate with a four-year degree later on, take some time and not have any loans.”

For more information on the Work Ready Forsyth initiative, visit 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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