New ACT WRC Counties
Earlier this year, Simpson County reached ACT® Work Ready Community status, which will serve as a measurement of the county’s workforce and economic development needs. This almost two years of effort will contribute to the competitiveness of the county as a viable site selection for new employers. Team players include Simpson county leaders, county educators and Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Additionally, local employers joined the undertaking by recognizing or recommending job applicants to attain their NCRC®. Employer support was a key component for Simpson County to achieve the ACT® Work Ready Community designation.
PriorityOne Bank in Simpson County was the first employer to implement ACT WorkKeys® Assessment.
“We see this program as a very positive move for our company and for the community,” said PriorityOne Senior Vice-President Eric Adkins. “While we anticipate realizing benefits from the program, by encouraging our applicants to acquire the NCRC® we feel that the community will begin to establish a pool of highly skilled candidates for many future jobs. We believe that this step will ultimately contribute to the quality of the regional workforce, as well as the future growth of the economy.”
Simpson County is one of the seven counties in South Central and Southwest Mississippi that comprises the Copiah-Lincoln Community College district and is part of the college’s regional initiative to see all district counties achieve this standard of work readiness. Looking forward, the county will continue pursuing goals during a growth and maintenance phase to retain certification. The good news is that 89 percent of the goals are met, which positions this work ready community to easily recertify in 2021.
In May, Franklin County attained status as an ACT® Work Ready Community due to the hard work of county leaders and educators, as well as Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Local employers also joined the undertaking by recognizing or recommending job applicants earn their National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®). More than four million WorkKeys® NCRCs® have been issued across the United States with Franklin County adding to that number daily. Community support is a vital component for counties to reach their assigned ACT Work Ready Community goals.
The benefits of ACT® recognition includes a measurement of area workforce and economic development needs. Additionally, this status will serve prospective employers as an indicator of the county as a worthwhile site selection, and contribute to the overall competitiveness of the region. Franklin County is one of the seven counties in South Central and Southwest Mississippi that comprises the Copiah-Lincoln Community College district and is part of the college’s regional initiative to see all district counties achieve this standard of work readiness.
“Franklin County is very honored to have been a part of Co-Lin's initiative to have all district counties certified as ACT Work Ready," said Franklin County stakeholder and resident Morgan Halford Poore. “We look at this as a great opportunity to help our current businesses, as well as a step taken to open doors for new possibilities.”
Looking forward, the county will continue pursuing goals during a growth and maintenance phase to retain certification. Fortunately, 89 percent of the goals are met, so recertification in 2021 should come easily. In October, Co-Lin Workforce Center Director Stephenie Sullivan will be on-hand at the National ACT® Work Ready Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina to accept recognition for Franklin and Simpson counties new Work Ready status.
Currently, six of the seven counties in the Co-Lin district are certified, with Jefferson County poised to obtain work ready status at 93 percent of goals met. The college and the region look forward to the district completing all goals within the next two months. Individuals interested in tracking the progress of this area and the state may visit the ACT® Work Ready website https://www.workreadycommunities.org, where goal updates are provided monthly.
“This is a critical time in our region to obtain the work ready region status as new employers consider locating in our area,” explained Sullivan. “Please be encouraged to take your WorkKeys assessment and encourage your Jefferson County friends and neighbors to do the same.”
Assessment sites are readily available at the Natchez WIN Job Center and Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Wesson Campus. Individuals interested in taking the assessment should call 601.643.8707 to schedule an appointment on the Wesson Campus or contact the WIN Job Center at 601.442.0243. Additionally, special dates and a convenient location will be announced soon for Fayette and surrounding areas.
About ACT & ACT Workforce Solutions
ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments have been used for more than two decades to measure essential workplace skills and help people build career pathways. Successful completion of three skill areas—Applied Math, Workplace Documents, and Graphic Literacy—can help an individual earn an ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®), a portable credential that documents essential work skills. More information about the ACT WorkKeys, ACT Work Ready Communities, and goal updates by county is located at https://www.workreadycommunities.org.