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Lucas County Commissioners announce new data-driven workforce development tool


Oct. 17, 2013: The Lucas County Commissioners today announced Lucas County’s selection to participate in the ACT Work Ready County-level pilot initiative.


The ACT Certified Work Ready Communities initiative empowers states and counties to attract economic development investment by ensuring that the skill set of the workforce is suited to the needs of the business community.


Through this program, a standard set of readiness criteria recognized by employers will be measured and developed in our community. Lucas Count , as one of 16 counties selected to participate, will make this innovative pilot program part of its strategic approach to its economic and workforce development efforts.


The ACT Certified Work Ready Community initiative is an innovative program seeking to build a national strategy for work readiness. The ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRCs) focus on certifying three essential skills: applied math, reading for information, and locating information.


Through the NCRC, ACT has created an evidence-based system that has demonstrated to accurately predict work readiness and job performance. This predictive capability applies to all three key groups of people: new workers, transitioning workers and individuals who already have jobs.


Because the certificates demonstrate skill sets for employers and employees alike, counties that have sustainable, ongoing certification efforts have a decisive economic development advantage to employers seeking to expand their workforces and to those contemplating relocations.


“This is big news for our county because we are now on the road to having a data-driven, results-oriented process for matching employers’ needs with potential employees’ skills,” Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said. “The ACT Certified Work Ready Community pilot program will help us build a framework to align education and skills training, workforce development, and economic growth.”


The ACT Work Ready Communities initiative will assist local businesses to stay competitive by providing a forum through which they can easily communicate the skill set they need from their employees. At the same time, job seekers can easily understand what employers are looking for and prepare themselves to be successful in the job market, bolstering the local economy. 


“The ACT certification process will help Lucas County establish goals for our workforce to meet,” Commissioner Carol Contrada stated. “We already have the tools in place. However, the ACT program’s common criteria will help build a set of strategies and priorities to propel our workforce forward.”


“The region has a strong advantage in automotive and manufacturing, knowing how to make products and sell them to the world,” Commissioner Pete Gerken concluded. “We have to remain competitive. We can do that by ensuring that our workers are retrained to handle new technologies for the region to remain competitive in the advanced manufacturing economy.”


The Commissioners were joined by Lucas County Chief of Planning and Development Megan Vahey Casiere, Lucas County Workforce Development Director Eric Walker, and Lucas County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ford Weber.


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Revised: 10/22/13 06:24:35 -0700.




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