Jobs Program + Employer Participation = Economic Development Advantage
The ACT® Work Ready Community job initiative was launched just a year ago and already more than 100 companies in Johnson County have signed up to participate, providing a significant economic development advantage to the area. The initiative helps identify foundational skills needed for a productive workforce, helps workers understand what skills are required by employers, allows policymakers to consistently measure the skills gap and helps educators close that gap.
Overall, it helps Johnson County market the quality of its workforce.
“We are keenly aware that hiring needs are among the highest priorities for new and existing businesses alike. The ACT® Work Ready initiative brings opportunities to increase workforce retention and to better align new workers with current job openings and connect the right employees with the right jobs,” said Christian Maslowski, Aspire President and CEO.
How does the program work? ACT® Work Ready links workforce development to education, aligns with the community’s economic development needs and matches individuals to jobs based on skill levels. As a participant, Johnson County can identify skill gaps and quantify the skill levels of its workforce, helping educators meet business and industry needs. To see video of an ACT® Work Ready success story about optimizing hiring, training and retention, click here.
Several employers, along with Central Nine Career Center, Ivy Tech Community College and Johnson County Public Library, already are heavily involved in the program. More partners are encouraged to come on board and support the program in order for Johnson County to become Work Ready certified.
“ACT has established goals for the number of people required to earn the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) and also the number of businesses that support the initiative that we need to meet before we can become certified,” explained Aspire Community Development Specialist Jennifer Hollingshead. “We understand that once we are certified, it will be a draw as it will show we have a skilled workforce. It’s a certification that site selectors are aware of when evaluating locations such as Johnson County.”
All a business needs to do is sign up to show support for the initiative to help us reach our employer goal to become certified, she added. Employers can click here to see the benefits, then they can sign up today at ACT® Work Ready.
“While we are delighted that so many businesses already have come forward to support the ACT® Work Ready initiative, more companies are still needed to sign up. We hope that each and every Aspire member will enroll if they have not already done so,” concluded Hollingshead. “This program has the potential to significantly help participating employers address job retention and hiring issues.”