Located in rural southern Middle Tennessee, the Lawrence County School System’s Department of Career and Technical Education works day-in and day-out with business and industry to improve programs and industry certifications that prepare students for career success. Whenever a local business says they need workers proficient in using Microsoft Office or need to understand a new welding technology, computer application instructors incorporate the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification into their regular curriculum and local technical colleges embed postsecondary welding programs on every high school campus. As students learn about healthcare, they can become licensed as a Certified Nurse Assistance (CNA) and gain real-world work experience before they walk across the stage at graduation.
As careers across the nation become more accessible through remote work, the Lawrence County Chamber partnered with local schools to identify a correlating industry certification that would prepare students for these new opportunities.
Today, Lawrence County Schools is the first in the nation to offer remote worker certification to its high school students through Workplaceless.
Workplaceless is a well-established company that has certified employees throughout the United States. Workplaceless Remote Work Certification includes seven modules to guide remote professionals through the key skills needed to be an effective individual contributor and member of a remote team. A Remote Worker Effectiveness Audit, and applicable assignments are combined with practical advice and case studies from a diverse set of experienced remote professionals. Lawrence County High School, Loretto High School, and Summertown High School are the first high school students in the nation to begin coursework for the Workplaceless Remote Worker Certification. Students enrolled in Virtual Enterprise International, which is part of the system’s business & entrepreneurship track, are expected to complete the program in April.
Workplaceless Founder and CEO Tammy Bjelland shares, “As students prepare to enter an increasingly distributed workforce, effective remote work skills will prove critical to achieving professional success. By being the first school system to provide high school students access to the Workplaceless Remote Work Certification program, Lawrence County School System is raising the bar in preparing students to succeed in remote and hybrid employment opportunities.”
Josie Morgan, a student at Loretto High School, said, “The Workplacess certification program is not only helping me to be a better student, but it is also preparing me to be able to adapt to workforce situations in the future.”
“The addition of this certification is evidence of how our community adapts to a changing economy,” explained Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. “Remote work is here to stay and I commend Lawrence County Schools for preparing our students for these new job opportunities.”
LCSS CTE Director, Shannon Watson said, “Two years ago, Lawrence County Schools began investing in Early Postsecondary Opportunities for every student. The goal being that students graduate with a diploma plus a nationally recognized industry certification or college dual-enrollment hours. Preferably both! Over 2,000 industry certifications have been achieved by students of LCSS along with countless hours of college credit. With current working conditions due to Covid-19, the addition of a Remote Worker Certification seemed not only relevant but a necessary step to prepare students for the ever-changing world of work.”
According to telecommuting statistics from ‘Global Workplace Analytics’, there were 4.3 million remote workers in the USA in 2018, which makes up 3.2% of the entire workforce. The same report says that 40% more US companies offered remote work as an option in 2018 than the previous 5 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic, undoubtedly, accelerated the shift to remote work. With training programs like this one in place, Lawrence County is embracing remote work as part of its economic development strategy to build even more quality talent and connect citizens with existing opportunities from all over the nation.
“As our economy changes, so does our economic development strategy,” stated Egly.
About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.
Ryan Egly | President & CEO
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
25 B Public Square, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
o. (931) 762-4911