St. Louis County has achieved a significant milestone in workforce development by obtaining ACT Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status.
A special event was conducted Feb. 21 to mark the achievement.
“The Certified Work Ready designation is a game changer,” County Executive Steve Stenger said. “With this tool, businesses know the skilled workers they need for a productive workforce are readily available in St. Louis County. Also, individuals who want to enter the workforce understand what skills are required by employers and how to prepare themselves for success.”
The certification is administered by ACT Inc., which also administers college entrance exam testing. ACT has also been involved with workforce development for more than two decades. States, counties and economic development agencies across the United States have adopted the ACT Work Ready Communities program as a means of providing employers evidence of a skilled workforce.
Achieving ACT Work Ready certification was a collaborative effort in St. Louis County, involving partnerships with municipalities, school districts (including St. Louis Community College), the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, workforce development professionals, economic development organizations and labor.
“We as educators are thrilled about the CWRC achievement in St. Louis County,” said Jeff Pittman, STLCC chancellor. “We have a dedicated training center where students are learning the skills that make them certified work ready. After completing our program, they are prepared to enter the workforce and make an immediate contribution to their respective companies.”
St. Louis Community College offers several programs classified as work-ready through its Center for Workforce Innovation near the Florissant Valley campus. Almost all of STLCC’s accelerated training programs utilize the WorkKeys assessments, which classify them as Work Ready. One such initiative is the Boeing Pre-employment Training program.
St. Louis County is the largest county nationally — by population — to achieve this certification, with 323 companies supporting the program. The list includes companies like Boeing, Ameren and Sprint. Missouri now has 51 certified counties.