Career Readiness and Job Training
Career readiness is a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that broadly prepare individuals for success in the workplace and lifelong career management.
Career readiness is key to ensuring successful entrance into the workforce. Career readiness is the foundation upon which a successful career is launched.
Upstate Workforce Board
The mission of the Upstate Workforce Board is to advance the future of business and our community. Through various programs and services, they are working to improve career readiness for individuals in Spartanburg.
Ready to Work Assessments
Ready to Work is a workforce education and development tool comprised of three proctored assessments: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.
These assessments lead to a work ready credential. It brings employers, learners/job-seekers, and education/workforce partners together in building a skilled workforce, while keeping and attracting businesses with higher-wage jobs and national economic growth.
The research defines the standards for those core skills in terms of applied workplace math, workplace reading, and use of charts, graphs and similar workplace information. These are the standards that are the basis for the proctored assessments and earning the Ready to Work Credential.
The Ready to Work assessments measure:
- Applied Mathematics
- Measures workplace mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills from basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication and division to multiple math functions like calculating percentage discounts.
- Reading for Information
- Measures reading comprehension and reasoning skills when using written text on the job including memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies and regulations.
- Locating information
- Measures comprehension and application of workplace graphics such as charts, graphs, tables, forms, flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, maps and instrument gauges.
One of Upstate Workforce Board’s programs is the ACHIEVE program.
The ACHIEVE (Academic Challenges Helping Individuals Expand Values and Education) program is administered by the University of South Carolina Upstate. ACHIEVE is an educational and employment program that serves high school dropouts and graduates who are unemployed or underemployed (ages 16 – 24) from Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties.
The ACHIEVE Program works with these out-of-school youth by helping them work toward completing their education, finding employment and enhancing their self-esteem in order for them to become productive citizens.
Program participants receive support with:
- GED Program
- Participants receive individualized and group instruction in writing, science, social studies, literature and math in preparation for the GED exam.
- Pre-Employment Training
- Participants learn the skills and attitudes needed to succeed in the working world. This training will consist of preparing resumes, completing applications, practicing interview skills, learning to maintain a job and taking the WorkKeys Assessment.
- Life Skills
- Participants learn about nutrition, family planning, positive social behaviors, drug abuse, consumer credit and the court system.
- Job Placement
- This service helps participants find and keep unsubsidized jobs (work experience jobs are available).
- Transportation is available to and from the training site in Spartanburg.
Advancing Health Equity in Spartanburg
The Mary Black Foundation believes that health and wellness are basic human rights.
In 2018, the Foundation adopted a health equity statement:
Health equity exists when all people have access to opportunities to thrive, both physically and mentally, and no one is limited in achieving health and wellness because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, income, or zip code.
However, we quickly realized that having a statement was not sufficient enough. We needed a framework to guide our work. In 2020, the Foundation’s Program Directors, Keisha Gray and Natalia Valenzuela Swanson sat down to research and create a framework that would guide us in achieving our mission to invest in people and communities for improved health, wellness, and success in Spartanburg County.
To advance health equity, Spartanburg will need to ensure it has: (1) high quality education & employment, (2) safe & supportive neighborhoods, and (3) accessible, affordable, & culturally relevant health care.
Framework in Action
While no one organization can achieve health equity alone, the Mary Black Foundation uses its resources- grants and impact investments, advocacy, capacity building, technical assistance, convening, and strategic alliances- to advance health equity. Below are examples of how the Mary Black Foundation is working to achieve health equity.
Achieving Health Equity in Our Community
In each of the three buckets of Mary Black Foundation’s Health Equity Framework, there are different sub-categories. These subcategories are more specific things that a community needs to have to ensure all people can achieve health and wellness.
Learn More About Mary Black Foundation
Visit Mary Black Foundation’s website to learn more about our Health Equity Framework and examples of ways the Foundation has used grant funding and impact investments to further its mission.