LINK WorkKeys May Be Key to Ambitious Students’ Futures

GTR Region, MS — Courtesy of the Dispatch

Macaulay Whitaker, COO for the GTR LINK, recently spoke about the WorkKeys program that has been in place in high schools since 2015: “The goal of the (grant) program was to get the high schools started and then track what was happening in the Legislature and Department of Education,” he said. The state legislature approved a $1 million grant for the program in 2019, which has helped to pay for testing and for rewards granted to students who score well on the ACT-adjacent tests.

Recipients of silver cords for the WorkKey certification program – Photo courtesy Colin Kennedy

Lenora Hogan, Director of Starkville High School’s Millsaps Career and Technology Center, remarked that “WorkKeys certification would help [students to] get better internships. I want my students to have every certification they can get. WorkKeys are as much for college-bound kids as anyone. It’s a real value.”

“I think the Work Ready certification demonstrated something we here in the Golden Triangle are particularly good at: Teamwork around an initiative,” Whitaker went on to say. “We had to have everybody involved to make it work: The LINK, EMCC, community leaders, county and city government and the high schools. Establishing WorkKeys as a tool at every level was a big part of that.”

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