WorkReady NH Prepares Employees with Soft Skills

02/25/2015 by Lisa Proulx

PORTSMOUTH -  According to CareerBuilder, 77 percent of employers currently seek job candidates who possess “soft skills” – specifically, the personal attributes that enable them to positively interact with colleges and customers.   WorkReady, NH, a practical career-readiness program offered at Great Bay Community College offers job seekers and career builders an opportunity to improve these highly sought-after skills.

Patty McGrail, Senior VP of Leddy Group, a New Hampshire? based staffing and human resource consulting agency has been working with WorkReady NH (WRNH) for the past few years.  "It’s the candidate's soft skills, including work ethic, attitude and ability to communicate, that will truly further them in the selection process.  Candidates who have attained their WRNH soft skills certificate have a leg up on their competition.”

Andy LaBranche, Machine Shop Manager at Sig Sauer also sees the benefit of WorkReady NH firsthand. GBCC and WorkReadyNH are currently working in partnership with Sig Sauer to offer a CNC training program at the manufacturer’s facility. “The WorkReady Program, in combination with the CNC training, has proven to be an efficient way to filter for employee sustainability. Of associates who complete these training requirements, there is far lower fall out rate due to not having the appropriate soft skills and technical skills combination required in a business environment. Program graduates are not afraid to speak up, ask good questions, and work as part of a team.”

According to Christina Wall, Director of the WorkReadyNH at Great Bay Community College, many participants of the program don’t realize the value of the skills they are learning until they get into the class room and start building their skill set.  Alexander Welch, a WorkReadyNH graduate, is currently a Contract Recruiter for the National Recruiting Center in partnership with CoWorx Staffing Services in Dover, NH.  Within a week of graduating from the program he secured a job, however had to give it up after a family crisis forced him to re-locate.  “I lost what I thought was my dream job before it began.  But, because of my WorkReadyNH training – specifically on ‘employment attitude’; I remained positive through the job search again and a month later, on my return drive to NH, I was interviewed and hired."

WorkReady NH includes a 60-hour soft skills classroom component that uses a simulated work setting to teach skills including communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, critical thinking and conflict resolution. Upon completion, participants who are job seekers, career changers or are underemployed, receive a nationally recognized certificate. WorkReadyNH is free for eligible participants thanks to state and federal funding. You must be 18 years old, not a full time student and a NH resident.   For more information on the next available workshop, email  WorkReadyGBCC@ccsnh.edu (please state which location you prefer – Rochester or Portsmouth) or call Rochester 427-7775 or Portsmouth 427-7636.