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Work Ethic Certification Program

The Work Ethic Certification program has the ability to change lives and tremendously affect economic success in this region.  The participants in this program will be more than ready to take the next step after graduation; no matter if it is college or career.

When HCS officials discussed the concept of the Early College and Career Center with business and industry leaders in 2012, they shared that they were meeting obstacles when searching for employees who were fully equipped with soft skills.  They also shared this was not just a Hardin County problem.  Employers across the country shared these same problems.  HCS decided to do something about it and created the Work Ethic Certification Program.  The program helps students create habits that will make them more employable upon graduation.

High school seniors can elect to participate in the Work Ethic Certification Program. As a participant, they must demonstrate proficiency in the GREAT 8 Standards (see below) in order to earn the certification. The certificate will serve as validation that students have successfully displayed strong work habits fostering success in higher education and the workplace. 

Combined with the criteria and standards they must meet, Work Ethic Certification participants will receive curriculum instruction in their high school senior English classes.

The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce encourages business and industry to show their support by granting Work Ethic Certification graduates a job interview. An interview may not lead to a hire, but it will give the graduate the priceless experience of an interview. The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce also provides a $1000 scholarship to a Work Ethic Certification graduate at Central Hardin High School, John Hardin High School and North Hardin High School.

Along with the interview, WEC graduates will also wear special cords at their respective graduation ceremonies and earn program seals on their diplomas. 

There are eight standards to which Work Ethic Certification program participants will adhere. They must meet the criteria and gain points within each standard to earn the certification. Click below to see the eight standards and target behaviors. 

A 2018 addition to the program makes an even stronger connection between Work Ethic Certification students and the workplace.  HCS asked employers to come to a career fair and talk to students who had earned the certification about what their business or industry does.  Students bring their resume to this event and are ready to apply and/or interview with employers.  


Elementary WEC Great 8 Standards Monthly Focus

Target Work Readiness Certification Behaviors for Elementary Students


Nannette Johnston Impact Grant

The Nannette Johnston Impact Grant will award small grants to students who desire to make a difference in their community. 

It starts with a question such as: “What can we do to improve the quality of life in our community”. Students contact a partner agency and ask how they can help them improve services for others. From this conversation, students and their partners discuss an idea that will meet the agency's needs but can be sustained over time. Students develop their idea into a plan that will be implemented through community action or service. Students can access Impact funds to turn the idea into reality. 

Through this process, students will put the Work Ethic Standards they have learned into practice through community service (Standard 8). The ultimate goal of this experience is for students to learn to lead through the impact they make in the community. 

How to access the Nannette S. Johnston Impact Grant?

To apply for the Impact Grant, contact a partner agency, complete the 4 simple questions on the grant form and submit the form to your high school counselor 

Impact Grant Application

Please complete this grant application with as much detail as possible. You may need to use additional sheets of paper. Then, give it to your high school guidance counselor who will turn it into the Central Kentucky Community Foundation.

WEC Videos -- Community Members Explain How Critical the Program is

Introduction of the HCS Work Ethic Certification Program -- HCS Superintendent Teresa Morgan

The importance of the WEC Program -- Hardin County Community Leaders

Standard #1 -- Attendance & Tardiness

Standard #2 -- Personal Responsibility & Accountability

Standard #3 -- Academic Performance

Standard #4 -- Work Habits & Persistence

Standard #5 -- Punctuality, Preparedness & Organization

Standard #6 -- Respectful Interaction & Communication

Standard #7 -- Cooperation & Teamwork

Standard #8 -- Community Service

WEC Community and Business Partners