Certified Work Ready Communities
The Missouri Chamber is a strong supporter of the Missouri Work Ready Communities initiative. This program identifies and demonstrates the number of qualified workers available in a given community and what skill level they have, using the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC) developed by ACT®. The NCRC places attention on three critical skills that employers seek in every employee: reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information.
Missouri led the nation in this effort. Jasper County was the first county in the nation to become Work Ready Certified, a distinction that speaks to the quantity and quality of the labor force in the county. Certification is a major influence for site selectors when they look for possible relocation or expansion sites. Through the Work Ready Communities effort, Missouri is leveraging its greatest resource for future growth and prosperity – its workforce.
Missouri is also leading the nation in the number of counties engaged with the process. As of May 2021, 102 of Missouri’s 114 counties have signed on to become nationally certified. In addition, more than 5,307 Missouri businesses are engaged in the program. The 2021 Site Selector State Report placed Missouri 13th in the nation for the percentage of ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) holders. This sets our state in the forefront of a national effort and makes economic development 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 play a pivotal role in this process by either being a lead coordinator or by simply being a member of the leadership team and 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 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 Brian Crouse, Vice President of Education, at (573) 634-3511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.