MCC Work Readiness Certificate

What We Do

In 2016, McLennan Community College partnered with the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses to develop a local work readiness certificate that helps job seekers develop the skills that local employers expect. Through surveys and interviews of local employers, MCC and CORD developed a curriculum that targets the most needed entry-level skills (such as dependability, honesty, and communication) for success in Waco-area jobs. The curriculum is designed to be taught in a variety of settings, including in MCC’s Adult Education programs, high schools, and job training programs. Participants earn a certificate by demonstrating that they possess the necessary skills—not by simply sitting in a desk. This certificate, endorsed by MCC, helps open the door to employment for community members new to the workforce and those seeking to establish a stable work history.

Who We Serve

In July 2017, a pilot of the certificate program began in partnership with the McLennan County Reintegration Program, which works with individuals returning to the community from incarceration. In the 2017-2018 school year, the Heart of Texas P-20 Council will work to expand adoption of the certificate to local high school workforce programs. Waco ISD intends to integrate the work readiness certificate into soft skills training in its career academies and recruit the businesses serving on its campus advisory councils to serve as mentors. MCC and the Prosper Waco backbone will partner to track the employment success of certificate holders.

How We Impact

A lack of prepared, committed workers is one of the most common challenges cited by local employers and a barrier to economic development in our community. Local employers frequently emphasize that the most important attributes employees can have are the 'soft skills' that make them good team members. Employers can teach new employees the technical skills that are required to do the job, but they cannot easily predict which job applicants have the integrity, dependability, and team orientation that will make them assets to the company. By documenting that job applicants have convincingly demonstrated these skills, the MCC work readiness certificate make an employer's job easier by giving them a sign that an applicant will make a good team member. The work readiness certificate should increase the rate at which certificate holders are hired and reduce the employee turnover rate of local employers. This is a win-win situation that will not only increase the financial security of local job seekers but also improve the productivity of local businesses and lead to economic develop in Greater Waco.

Success Stories

Quote from a local employer:

"In the case where there has been a pattern of effort and/or dependability on behalf of the candidate, the likelihood of them becoming potential employees increases significantly. As a result of these programs, I personally see a reduction in turnover in our workplaces, a reduction in recidivism with those who are justice involved, and a reduction in unemployment as a whole in our communities."

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