Strategic Partnerships Make Good Business Sense

Juanita Murphy

Successful companies drive local economies and, likewise, a competitive workforce can sustain the success of the company. Forsyth Tech has a history of working with businesses to develop skilled employees, enhance contract training programs for staff, and to identify and implement assessment tools for pre-screening potential job candidates.

In fact, Forsyth Tech was founded in 1960 through a partnership with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company now Reynolds American, Inc. (RAI). When R.J. Reynolds needed more skill development for their employees, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Industrial Education Center was formed, which later became Forsyth Tech.

Through the years, as changing technology has required more advanced skills, Forsyth Tech has continued to provide opportunities at RAI for training, assessing, and screening employees. Through the Economic and Workforce Development Division (EWD) of Forsyth Tech, one of the tools offered to local businesses is a unique employment assessment system called WorkKeys®. These assessments help employers determine the potential success of an employee for a specific job and to reduce turnover.
“Working first with Reynolds American, Inc., we developed a process for pre-screening and a model for workforce assessment using WorkKeys® from ACT Workforce Solutions,” said Juanita Murphy, career readiness certificate coordinator with Forsyth Tech. “The testing removes the guesswork to determine an applicant’s skills using a variety of aptitude tests.”

Barbara CarterThe testing is now being offered to additional companies throughout Forsyth and Stokes counties. Over the past eight years, Murphy has coordinated scheduling and testing for Herbalife; Reynolds American, Inc.; Sonoco; Siemens; Triumph; Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools; and Wieland, among others, to help them meet their hiring goals.