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Get ‘Ready to Work’ at NW-SCC

People looking for a new job might want to take advantage of program at Northwest-Shoals Community College’s: the Ready to Work Program.

The Ready to Work Program will begin a new student session Jan. 19 for individuals at least 16 years old who are seeking new or more fulfilling careers. Orientation Jan. 19 will be held on the Shoals campus in building 127 with a morning session at 10 a.m. and an evening session at 6 p.m. Prospective participants may attend either orientation session. The class will then meet twice a week for eight weeks with the morning session held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the night session from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The RTW Program, which is free to the community, is operated by the Alabama Community College System’s Division of Workforce Development in cooperation with the Alabama Industrial Development Training.

“It’s a wonderful program,” said NW-SCC Ready to Work coordinator Tara Branscome. “I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a real confidence booster to people who need it.”

Upon successful completion of the program, trainees earn the following certifications: the Alabama Certified Worker certification, which Branscome said covers a variety of skills, like work ethics, precision measurement, manufacturing concepts, interviewing skills, resume writing and safety in the workplace; and the National Career Readiness Certificate, also commonly referred to as WorkKeys.

“Some employers use that as a screening tool,” Branscome said. “Once our participants complete both certifications, they have the opportunity to take a free college course here at Northwest-Shoals. Branscome said a number of participants use that free class as the jumping off point to further their education.

According to Branscome, the RTW Program has enrolled more than 1,100 students since 2008. “The Ready to Work program at Northwest-Shoals has been consistently one of the top programs in the state,” said Branscome.

For more information on how to enroll in the RTW Program, contact Branscome at 256-331-5248 or The program can accept a maximum of 60 students per session, and space is available on a first come, first served basis.