Columbus North senior Hussain Saifuddin is working toward earning the Governor’s Work Ethic certificate. He is pictured in the engineering lab at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. The program, which is overseen by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, teaches students skills to succeed in the workplace. Saifuddin is earning the certificate through the C4 program. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

Employers always are looking to hire job candidates who possess the knowledge and skills needed to perform the required tasks well. That’s essential for employers and the businesses they operate.

However, employers also want to hire candidates that demonstrate more than just technical knowledge. They want workers with soft skills, ones that aren’t necessarily taught in the classroom but demonstrate an ability to work well with others and dedication to the job, for example.

Fortunately, high school seniors in Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. can demonstrate their soft skills and gain an advantage in their pursuit of a career through the new Governor’s Work Ethic certificate program.

The pilot program, which involves 18 entities including the local school district and was formed with input from state employers, is overseen statewide by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and involves multiple components. Students are required to demonstrate competency in five areas:

  • Persevere through challenges and problem solve
  • Are accepting and demonstrate service to others
  • Possess a positive attitude
  • Are reliable and demonstrate responsibility
  • Show organization, punctuality and self-management

Employers say that showing up for work each day and proving that you are dependable is vital. Earning a Work Ethic certificate would provide proof that one can be counted on.

Students also must meet four objectives:

  • Cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 and be on track to graduate
  • Attendance rate of at least 98 percent, missing no more than three school days a year
  • No more than one disciplinary referral
  • Complete at least six hours of community service or volunteer work during school year

Currently, 201 seniors from North, East and New Tech are in the certificate program. Those who meet the requirements earn incentives such as scholarship opportunities, guaranteed job interviews and possible tuition reimbursement.

That’s a huge benefit for both students and employers.

Students could save on their higher education costs and learn soft skills that will help them throughout their careers. Employers benefit from the screening accomplished by earning the certificate and get connected directly with students who they know possess the traits the company desires.

That’s a win-win result, and reason for students to want to participate and employers to support the program.

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