ELIZABETHTOWN — With a unanimous vote Monday, Bladen County commissioners approved a resolution that will make Bladen County the 29th county in the state to participate in the North Carolina Work Ready Communities Initiative.
“The purpose is to showcase talent in the county,” said Sandra Guyton, vice president for workforce and continuing education at Bladen Community College. “In many ways, a Work Ready Certificate is even better than a high school diploma, because it shows that person has a higher level of learning.”
BCC President William Findt and Guyton told commissioners they hope local businesses will use the Work Ready Communities Initiative in their hiring practice, either as a preferred or required application item.
According to Guyton, the WRCI is recognized in every state and, currently, 28 counties in North Carolina are certified at WRCI counties.
She added that Bladen County currently has 2,190 WRCI certified career-readiness individuals — 687 at the bronze level, 1,272 at the silver level, 229 at the gold level and two at the platinum level.
“Each represents a stronger level of learning capability,” Guyton said. “The certification focuses on three areas — math, reading and the ability to locate information.”
Commissioners approved adopting a resolution in support of the program.
In other business Monday, the commissioners:
— Heard from Stephen Bzomoski, a senior planner for the Cape Fear Regional Bicycle Plan, who said the plan involves seven counties, including the southern portion of Bladen. He said the plan is an effort to allow residents more choices in transportation and improve health and the quality of life. Commissioners approved a resolution supporting the plan.
— Approved the unpaid tax report and annual settlement for the years 2007 to 2016, as presented by Carol Cain, county tax collector.
— Approved an order directing Cain to collect taxes charged in the tax records and receipts.
— Heard from David Howard, Bladen County Health Department director, who requested and received approval for a fees and policy revision; an Internet control policy revision; and an office of rural health grant application to benefit women’s and children’s services.
— Were told an Bladen County Opioid Forum would be held Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bladen Community College. The forum is open to the public, but participants will be by invitation only.
The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 6:30 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or cvincent@bladenjournal..com.