Certified Work Ready Communities

The Missouri Work Ready Communities initiative is centered on identifying and demonstrating the number of qualified workers available in a given community and at what skill level based upon the National Career Ready Certificate developed by ACT. The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) places attention on three critical skills that an employers seeks in every employee or potential employee: reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information.  The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is strongly supporting this effort.

Missouri is leading the nation in this effort. Jasper County was the first county in the nation to receive the designation as Work Ready Certified, a distinction that directly speaks to the quantity and quality of the labor force within the county. Certification is a major influence for site selectors when they look for possible relocation or expansion sites for clients.  Through the Work Ready Communities effort, Missouri is leveraging its greatest resource for future growth and prosperity – its people.  Missouri is also leading the nation in the amount of counties engaged with the process. Over 43 counties across the state have signed on to become nationally certified. In addition, with over 2,000 businesses engaged, Missouri leads the nation with the amount of participating businesses. This sets Missouri in the forefront of a National effort and making economic development as a primary directive for Missouri to be successful for years to come.

The end goal of Missouri Work Ready Communities is to attract, retain and develop a workforce with the right education and foundational skills ready to succeed in the 21st century.

Local chambers also play a pivotal role in this process by either being a lead coordinator or by simply being a member of the leadership team connecting the business community to the effort. The Missouri Work Ready Communities Initiative can be a vital economic development tool to leverage for attracting new businesses to your community or by helping grow existing businesses.

To find out how your business could benefit by this or how your local chamber can lead the charge, please contact Tammy Long, director of the Missouri Chamber Federation, at 573.634.3511 or by email at