Miller County Launches ACT® Work Ready Community Initiative

Texarkana, Arkansas—Miller County announced today, they have engaged in the process to become a certified ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC). This practice demonstrates their commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, desirable to employers, economic developers, and current and future citizens of the county.

“Miller County is excited to partner with the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch ACT® Work Ready Communities initiatives that use the ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC® as the basis for industry-driven efforts that link education, workforce, and economic development,” said Judge Cathy Harrison, Miller County Judge.

The ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC) initiative empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth by identifying skills gaps and quantifying the skill level of their workforce. Participants leverage the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®) to measure and close skills gaps and build common frameworks that link, align, and match their workforce development efforts.

To begin the Work Ready Communities process, Robbin Bass, Director for Business Retention and Expansion with the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce attended the ACT® WRC Boot Camp, an executive leadership and training program designed and led by ACT to initiate, deploy, and drive carefully tailored efforts to improve the county’s work readiness. Members of the ACT Work Ready Community Team will meet with local employers, policymakers, educators, and economic developers to reach established goals and build a sustainable WRC model to fit community needs.

 “ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC® and ACT® WRC is one of the criteria used by Site Selection Magazine to rank business locations,” said Rob Sitterley, President and CEO of AR-TX REDI. “The criteria used to certify Work Ready Communities are a quantifiable way to document progress in closing skills gaps. I am glad to be working with Miller County and the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce on this initiative,” he continued.

Students, job seekers, employers, educators, economic and workforce development all benefit from a county that becomes certified as an ACT® Work Ready Community. This is a system that is supported by the entire community based on a framework that links workforce development and education,” said Jenifer Harland, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce.

“Congratulations to Miller County for joining this initiative, and a growing list of counties dedicated to building a robust workforce,” said ACT Regional Manager, Tony Garife. “The determination of Miller County and the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce leadership to engage in this process demonstrates active partnerships between all stakeholders in the community and will provide the county with an economic development advantage, helping them stand out nationally for their workforce development efforts.”

For more information on this initiative, go to www.workreadycommunities.org, and view ACT’s workforce solutions at www.act.org/workforce. For additional information on the Chamber and the Business Retention & Expansion initiatives, contact Robbin Bass at rbass@texarkana.org or 903-792-7191.

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