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Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation Enlists Region Expert and National Testing Company to Certify Workforce

Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation created a testing recognition goal that will help local employers build their talent supply chain and increase job placement.

Manhattan, KS, October 23, 2016 --( The Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) started a bid to become an ACT Work Ready Community with the goal to close skills gaps and help local businesses recognize the skills workers need to be successful.

“There’s opportunity for economic development, education and even for your local civic and governmental leaders to plug into this effort as well,” said Jasen Jones, executive director for the Workforce Innovation Board of Southwestern Missouri.

Jones led the Joplin, Mo. initiative to become the first ACT Work Ready Community after a devastating tornado where nearly 400 employers were affected. In result of the program, workers were employed sooner, stayed on the job longer and are seeing a higher increase in pay over time.

Currently, the ACT Work Ready initiative is helping counties, states and regions all over the nation align economic development and workforce goals to build more productive workforces and improve economic growth.

Jones spoke at the Human Resource Management Network (HRMN) meeting in Manhattan on Wednesday. He encouraged local human resource managers and directors to help begin this effort in the Pottawatomie County area. The initiative will help employers build their talent supply chain.

“When you think about your recruiting efforts, there are certain skill levels that you need within your company,” he said. “The challenge for employers might be defining what skill level is needed for each job. [This initiative] can quantify the skill levels within your company and can pinpoint the scores needed for different job requirements.”

The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) workforce credential - offered by ACT, the same company whose exams qualify students for college entrance -complements degrees and other certifications earned by the workforce to help employers better recognize work skill levels.

PCEDC plans to recruit 50 companies in the Pottawatomie County and Manhattan area that will recognize the NCRC as a credential for hiring so Pottawatomie County can become a certified ACT Work Ready Community.

The NCRC credential tests workers in three main areas - reading for information, locating information and applied mathematics. The certificate is issued in four levels including bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

ACT also holds the world’s largest database of work skills requirements. The testing allows employers to easily access the skill levels for each potential employee and match them to jobs that are a fit for their skills.

About Pottawatomie Economic Development Corporation:
The purpose and objective of the PCEDC is to encourage local businesses and industries to expand and new businesses and industries to locate in Pottawatomie County, Kansas by implementing a comprehensive program for economic development. Our goals include employability skills, opportunities for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, enhanced career awareness and to market talent attraction and retention. For more information about the ACT Work Ready initiative in Pottawatomie County or the PCEDC, contact Jessica Venneberg at 785-456-9776 or by email at
Contact Information
Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation
Kayela Richard
Jack Allston, CEcD, FM, IOM, HLM
Executive Director
Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation
PO Box 288
Wamego, KS 66547

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