Jackson County Certified as an ACT Work Ready Community
Jackson County is the 81st county in Missouri to join with over 200+ participating businesses.
Thursday, December 12, 2019 – Jackson County became the 81st county in Missouri to be certified as an ACT Work Ready Community. ACT, better known for their standardized testing program for higher education, has a not-for-profit arm that works with communities to “align workforce and education to meet the economic needs of the state and local communities.”
Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. attended the ceremony at Drury Inn & Suites in Blue Springs to recognize the occasion. Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross, Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, MO, Mardy Leathers, Director of Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development and other elected, education, and business leaders from the metro area were also in attendance. Clyde McQueen of the Full Employment Council led the presentation and discussed what it meant for Jackson County and its municipalities.
McQueen explained that the program “created a common language for education and workforce stakeholders. It provides a valid measurement of skills mastered, aligned with skills needed in the workforce and a way to build a talent pipeline…to drive economic growth.” According to ACT, employers who have implemented the WorkKeys system have seen an overall increase in productivity and worker safety while seeing reductions in turnover and training time.
County Executive White noted that “area schools are already using the WorkKeys assessment, so it will be a good tool to bring qualified workers into businesses in the county.” In addition, the program will help measure the skills of adults as they re-enter the workforce or switch to a different career path. Mr. White looks forward to seeing the results of increased economic growth and a healthy, versatile workforce as an engine to drive progress.
Jackson County is proud to bring together leaders throughout the region committed to building the future of our community by becoming Work Ready. To find out more about the initiative and see how it is being implemented in counties across the state, visit https://www.workreadycommunities.org/MO