Greene County earns Certified Work Ready Community status

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (at podium) congratulates Greene County leaders on Certified Work Ready Community status. (Office of the Governor)
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Greene County is now a Certified Work Ready Community.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Old Glass Place in Springfield Thursday to congratulate county leaders on the honor. Nixon said Greene County’s efforts to strengthen its workforce training program are helping to attract and retain jobs to the community.

“By teaming educators with employers, Greene County is making sure that the local workforce has the skills needed in today’s global marketplace,” Nixon said. “Missouri’s economy continues to grow because our workforce continues to gain strength through training, education and hard work.”

“The Certified Work Ready Community status is a milestone for the educators and employers of Greene County, a united community dedicated to developing our workforce and creating economic growth in our region,” added Mary Ann Rojas, Springfield Department of Workforce Development Director.

In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative by American College Testing (ACT). The initiative lines up 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.

Missouri has 81 counties that are actively participating in the Certified Work Ready Community initiative and 36 fully certified counties.

By participating in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, Greene 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.

Several agencies and dozens of businesses throughout the county joined together to make this designation possible for Greene County, including the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Public Schools, the Greene County Commission, the City of Springfield, Ozark Technical College, and more than 300 local employers.