The County Mayors of Johnson, Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Unicoi and Washington Counties have announced that the entire region is now officially listed on the Work Ready Communities website as participating in the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative. Last fall, a joint announcement was made that all the counties served by the First Tennessee Development District were joining Sullivan County on the journey to become ACT Work Ready Certified. Education, business and governmental leaders have been participating in ACT sponsored academies to learn how to best utilize this prestigious distinction and gain momentum in their respective areas toward meeting the ACT established goals. ACT allows two years from the official listing on the website to become certified.
In making the announcement, Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey said this initiative has been a wonderful regional collaboration with everyone looking out for how to move things forward. New relationships have been formed as a result of the work. He also said work ready certified will “allow us to ensure we stay connected to doing what it takes to attract the right businesses to our region…and help us to make our current business and industry even stronger.”
High school students and adults can earn a National Career Readiness Certificate, which shows employers they have achieved certification in the areas of applied math, graphic literacy and WorkKeys workplace documentation.
Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge said being Work Ready Certified is a great competitive advantage for our region. Currently out of 3,144 counties in the US, only 180 are certified work ready. “We believe we are creating a huge competitive tool in the tool box for all of our economic development and chamber professionals.”
Jamie Parsons, VP/Chief HR Officer for Mountain States Health Alliance and the Johnson County business representative on the core team, says “Work Ready Community is important for employers because it is a quantifiable way to know that potential employees have the ability to be successful in your specific industry. As has been learned through the academies, because test takers receive scores that translate to what is required for specific positions, employers can be more confident of making the right hire the first time. There are documented case studies of reduction in hiring costs, reduced churn and reduced workers compensation costs for companies who utilize the NCRC process.”
For more information, please contact Lottie Ryans, FTDD Director Workforce & Literacy at 423-722-5101.