September is being proclaimed as ‘Work Ready Month’, and the Miss Lou Region which is made up of Adams County and Concordia Parish will soon join an exclusive number of communities in the United States to be certified as a ‘Work Ready Region’. The certification comes from ACT, Inc., and is recognized nationally as a powerful workforce development tool, as well as an economic development tool. As this exciting initiative is launched, Miss Lou employers are encouraged to learn how they can save hiring dollars and strengthen their bottom lines by signing on to support the effort.
The Miss Lou Region was accepted into the ACT Academy, an executive leadership and training program, in March 2015. The local leadership team has been working to encourage current, transitioning and emerging workers to take the WorkKeys assessment that will lead to the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). More than twenty local employers have already signed on to support the initiative, because they understand that job applicants with certificates have been tested to have the foundational skills necessary for their jobs.
The Work Ready Communities framework allows each participating community/region to quantify and improve the skill levels of its workforce through a standardized workforce skill credential and a robust data infrastructure that help measure, identify, and close skill gaps. ACT vice president for Community and Economic Development Debra Lyons said, “As a non-profit organization, we have invested in both the data framework and leadership training by offering the Work Ready Communities platform and Academy free of charge to participating states. We expect this to really move the needle for economic development in the states, regions, and communities we serve.”
To receive the designation of Certified Work Ready Region, Concordia Economic Development Association, Natchez Inc., Alcorn State University, Adams County and Concordia Parish businesses, K-12 schools, Community and Technical Colleges, Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, Workforce Investment offices, Chambers of Commerce, and elected officials have been working for more than a year to develop a structure that will support the designation. The Miss Lou Work Ready Region is working toward its ACT Certified Work Ready Region status by encouraging individuals to earn an ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ and building employer recognition and support. The Work Ready Communities program is a strategy to meet the changing demands of a global market, and satisfy employment needs of business.
In the Miss Lou we are working to “Bridge the Skills Gap” that hinders the growth of our economy and the quality of life in our communities. This initiative will create a workforce system that will develop the infrastructure and pipeline to provide skilled workers for employers. Join in this effort to improve our region, because “when the workforce improves, everything improves.
For more information on this initiative, go to http://workreadycommunities.org or call Natchez, Inc. 601.445.0288 or Concordia Economic Development 318.336.3635.
To download the company support form click here.