Jefferson County in Process of Becoming Certified WorkReady Community
The initiative empowers counties and states with data, process and tools that drive economic growth.
* The following information was submitted by Jefferson College as it relates to the Jefferson County Certified WorkReady initiative.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Workforce Investment Board have announced that Jefferson County is one of 14 counties in the state approved for “Certified WorkReady Community in Progress” status.
The initiative empowers counties and states with data, process and tools that drive economic growth. Participating states are leveraging the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to measure and close the skills gap. The initiative also builds common frameworks that link, align and match workforce development efforts.
Jefferson County will achieve “Certified WorkReady County” status when it reaches the benchmark goals established by ACT for the number of people obtaining certification and the number of businesses signing letters of support for the initiative in Jefferson County. ACT is a non-profit public trust dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success.
The focus of Missouri WorkReady Communities is on the NCRC, which is achieved by taking the ACT Work Keys assessment - a test that measures applied skills in seven areas. However, most companies focus on the three most critical foundation skills to being work ready - reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information.
The certificates are awarded at four levels based on an individual’s performance on the assessments. The highest is platinum skills for 99 percent of the jobs in ACT’s extensive database of occupational profiles, gold for 90 percent, silver for 65 percent and bronze for 35 percent. Achieving one of these levels will give individuals a competitive advantage over other applicants in the job search process, and the test results will greatly help employers in hiring, selection and training of new employees.
The Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County Executive Director Patrick Lamping and County Executive Ken Waller, in partnership with the Jefferson-Franklin Workforce Investment Board and local Office of Job Training, Director Shirley Wilson Director, have provided leadership in supporting the NCRC and CWRC initiatives in Jefferson County.
Jefferson College has emerged as a leader in the state of Missouri with regard to the implementation of Work Keys and the NCRC to improve student retention and success. Jefferson College was the first community college in the state to utilize Work Keys as an assessment of general education outcomes for all career and technical education graduates to provide students with an industry recognized credential upon graduation which provides students with a competitive advantage in the job search process.