Gov. Jay Nixon today joined local business and community leaders at CG Power Systems in Washington to congratulate Franklin County for being designated as a Certified Work Ready Community by American College Testing (ACT). The Governor also announced today that his balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 will include $4.5 million in additional resources for Missouri Works Training, which provides customized training opportunities to companies creating or retaining jobs in the state.
“A skilled workforce is essential to a strong economy,” Gov. Nixon said. “That is why my administration has been committed to strengthening Missouri’s workforce and making sure local communities have the tools and resources needed to attract new jobs and new investments to every corner of our state. By making targeted investments in Missouri Works Training and promoting initiatives like Certified Work Ready Communities, we will continue our economic growth by providing more Missouri businesses with the workforce they need to create jobs and prosper.”
Last year, Gov. Nixon launched Missouri Works Training, which streamlined and strengthened the state’s workforce training programs to make them more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of high-growth industries and to target training resources to high-growth industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing.
Missouri Works Training invests in Missouri businesses by providing training assistance for new and existing workers, allowing companies to stay competitive and create jobs. In 2013, this program helped provide training more than 35,000 workers at 339 companies all across the state.
In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative by ACT. The initiative aligns workforce training programs with the economic development needs of communities; matches appropriate applicants to jobs based on skill level; and strengthens businesses by strengthening the workforce. In 2013, Jasper County, Missouri was named the first Certified Work Ready Community in the nation.
“By achieving this esteemed designation, Franklin County is demonstrating that its partners in education and economic development are working together to prepare their workers to compete and succeed in today’s global economy,” Gov. Nixon said. “We will continue to support communities throughout the state as we work to create more jobs and more opportunities for Missourians.”
More than 70 local employers, educational institutions, and workforce development organizations supported Franklin County’s efforts to achieve this important certification. By participating in ACT's Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, Franklin County is:
- Helping workers understand what skills are required by employers, and how to prepare themselves for success;
- Helping businesses effectively communicate their workforce needs to area education and workforce training programs;
- Providing educators with the tools needed to close the skills gap by establishing career pathways for students with stackable industry-recognized credentials; and
- Equipping economic development organizations with an on-demand reporting tool to promote the quality of their workforce.
In addition to Franklin County, the Governor announced today that Butler and Ripley Counties have also been named Certified Work Ready Communities, giving Missouri the distinction of having four out of the first five counties in the nation to receive this designation. In addition, 35 Missouri counties are currently “in progress” and are on track to become fully certified within two years.
Those counties are Adair, Barry, Barton, Boone, Buchanan, Cape Girardeau, Chariton, Christian, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Henry, Howard, Howell, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Moniteau, Monroe, Newton, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Randolph, St. Francois, Saline, Vernon and Washington counties.
For more information about Missouri Works Training or the Certified Work Ready Community initiative and how to apply for certification, visit MO.gov.