April 30, 2019

Hannibal, MO. – Corey Mehaffy, Executive Director of the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council (NEMO EDC) announced today that Marion County has achieved official designation as a Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC). Numerous federal, state and local elected officials were on hand at an event held at the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra today to celebrate this important designation.

The initiative helps communities validate skills and knowledge of their workforce to the business community.  “The CWRC program allows us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our labor base so that we can support our local and regional employers and assure quality employment for current adult workforce and our emerging younger workforce,” said Corey Mehaffy, Executive Director of the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council.  “We are very grateful for the participation of many of our Marion County employers, job seekers, the Missouri Job Center in Hannibal, the Northeast Missouri Workforce Development Board, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, and the dedicated staff of the various Marion County School Districts for making it possible to achieve this certification,” added Mehaffy.

The foundation of a community’s certification is based on individuals at the county level across the current, transitioning and emerging workforce earning an ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®) and employers recognizing the ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®. The ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC® is a portable, industry-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual’s WorkKeys® skills in workplace documents, applied math and graphic literacy – skills required for 77 percent of jobs based on ACT JobPro database.

By participating in ACT’s® Work Ready Communities initiative, counties, regions and states are helping:

  • Business and industry know exactly what foundational skills they need for a productive workforce – and to easily communicate their needs
  • Individuals understand what skills are required by employers – and how to prepare themselves for success
  • Policy makers consistently measure the skills gap in a timely manner at the national, state and local levels
  • Educators close the skills gap, via tools integrated into career pathways with stackable industry-recognized credentials
  • Economic developers use an on-demand reporting tool to market the quality of their workforce

In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Workforce Ready Communities initiative by American College Testing (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 solidifying the workforce.