YANKTON -- Commemorating more than 2,000 South Dakotans who have earned National Career Readiness Certificates, Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently honored John Backhaus, of Vermillion, and Lonnie Pinkelman, of Tyndall, for obtaining the workplace credential.

NCRC is an assessment-based credential used to verify an individual's core employability skills. It measures three essential areas: reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information.

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Pinkelman started participating in DLR re-employment services in January 2011. After he earned a National Career Readiness Certificate, the department provided him tuition assistance to attend an equipment maintenance program.

Pinkelman is now enrolled in the Industrial Maintenance program at Regional Technical Education Center (RTEC) in Yankton. He will graduate this May. A DLR grant funds the program, which is delivered through a partnership between RTEC and Mitchell Technical Institute.