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Certification shows students ready for career success


Twelve Richland Two juniors and seniors enrolled at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2) will be the first high school students in the nation to receive the Employers’ Choice EmployABILITY Soft Skills Certification. The certification is presented by Microburst Learning in conjunction with South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, Mechanical Contractors Association of South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The students will be recognized at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31 at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation, located at 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia, SC.

To earn this certification, initially designed for Fortune 500 companies, students had to tackle 10 online modules on topics such as communication, initiative and conflict resolution. Students pursued the EmployABILITY Soft Skills Certification in addition to their scheduled classes over the past semester. Students regularly met with R2i2 Career Development and Outreach Officer Maria Owens to debrief and demonstrate their understanding of concepts. Students took online tests on each module and were required to score no less than gold or silver.

The program was developed because employers began noticing that while their employees were great at the technical aspects of their jobs, they struggled to work in groups, share knowledge and manage their teams.

“It’s not enough to simply be knowledgeable about your field. Successful employees are dependable, collaborative and flexible,” Owens said. “This program is about teaching students all other critical aspects of being employable.”

The students are: Owen Wong, Irielle Davis, Shaila Curl, Ciara Purday, and DaShawn McCoy (Blythewood High School); Kierra Gray (Richland Two Charter High School); Michael Lindberg (Ridge View High School); and Keon Oliver, Luke Snow, Chance Cain, Amelia Hayslip and Crystal Singleton (Spring Valley High School).