Perry, Greene and Ste. Genevieve counties have become the latest Missouri counties to earn Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status. CWRC is an American College Testing (ACT) designation program that recognizes successful efforts by community, education and business leaders to strengthen workforce training and development in order to meet the economic development needs of their communities.
“Perry County made workforce readiness a priority by bringing together job creators and educators to help this community earn this distinguished designation,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “I applaud everyone here in Perry County for setting a goal and working hard to achieve it, and for strengthening the local economy by becoming a Certified Work Ready Community.
Participation in CWRC is voluntary and guided by key community leaders such as local elected officials and local economic development companies. This helps to show businesses that the communities they are considering are actively working to promote themselves and the workforces they have available.
“The Certified Work Ready Community status is a milestone for the educators and employers of Greene County, a united community dedicated to developing our workforce and creating economic growth in our region,” said Mary Ann Rojas, Springfield Department of Workforce Development Director.
The CWRC program provides members of the workforce with National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRCs), a work-related skills credential providing objective documentation of an individual’s skills that is accepted nationwide by many employers. ACT has awarded more than 78,000 National Career Readiness Certificates to workers in Missouri, including more than 6,500 certificates to Missouri veterans.
“The Work Ready status is an important distinction for communities like Ste. Genevieve,” said Chauncy Buchheit, director of SEMO Regional Planning. “This national certification is good for job applicants and for the companies that are hiring. It also sends a message to companies, who may be considering a move to the area, about the qualifications of the workforce.”
In 2012, Missouri was selected to be one of the first four states to participate in the CWRC initiative, and in 2013, Jasper County became the first CWRC in the nation. Missouri now has 83 counties that are actively participating in the CWRC initiative and 38 fully certified counties.