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South carolina

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Winnsboro Workforce Center


City of Columbia Fire Dept.

Workforce Challenge

The City of Columbia Fire Department was experiencing a very high dropout rate in its training program for new hires. Chief of Professional Services Richard Dunn had to find a way to reduce the amount of dropouts in order to train enough new hires to fulfill the responsibilities of a growing department.

Workforce Solution

Chief Dunn came to the Midlands Workforce team in hopes of finding a way to better screen applicants to guarantee they had the basic skills necessary to successfully complete the firefighter training class. Midlands Workforce conducted a customized WorkKeys Profile of the firefighter recruit position and found the most critical skills an individual would need to be trainable into the position. Upon completion of the profile the fire department instituted WorkKeys Assessments as a required step in their selection process. By matching assessment results with the characteristics required in the Profile, only the most viable candidates were selected to begin the arduous training process.

Outcomes & Benefits

The Fire Department realized a 30% reduction in trainee dropouts in the first two years of their new process. To further prove the realized effect, the department lost less than 1% of all recruits who entered the training program after successfully completing the prescribed WorkKeys Assessments. This allowed the department to speed up the process of filling badly needed positions and save money by focusing on trainable candidates.


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