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By Tracey Kelly, Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager

The first article in this series spoke about the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) program and how businesses can embrace the program to greatly improve their hiring success.  (http://www.missourienterprise.org/blog/26-workforce/131-help-me-find-good-people-part-i)

The NCRC, created by ACT is a credential an individual earns by taking ACT Workkeys assessments, which identify their skill levels at reading instructions, workplace math, and locating of information. Scores help companies determine which applicants would be best for their positions. It also demonstrates the individual has the determination to find a job, and is more easily trainable.

Companies who have embraced the NCRC in their hiring practices have shown a dramatically improved success rate with their new hires.

Many companies currently utilizing the NCRC are also joining in their local effort to help their region become an ACT Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC). This effort is gaining momentum nationwide, and the initiative continues to widen its reach throughout Missouri.

There are a number of certified counties in Missouri and nationwide, and many others working to achieve their goals for certification.  (See the status of Missouri counties at http://workreadycommunities.org/MO)  If your company is not located within a CWRC, it is to your benefit to encourage your local leadership to initiate the process.

Becoming a CWRC has great value for the county as an economic development tool to help existing businesses expand, as well as attract new businesses to their area. Just a few of the benefits of being a work ready community are:

  • Current employers, as well as future employers will have on-demand, quantifiable data regarding the quality of your workforce.

  • It helps build the pool of applicants who have an NCRC, which proves their skill sets & provides companies with better quality applicants

  • Certification answers many questions for employers and
  • Tells them your community is collaborating and serious about meeting their needs

  • Being part of the CWRC initiative will give your community exposure on ACT’s national website, as well as on Missouri’s website


Any county can apply, and upon review and approval, the county may be granted a CWRC “in progress” status.  Multiple counties can also join together to achieve regional status, which can benefit a larger, multi-county business area.  Goals for achieving certification include the county hitting a targeted number of its eligible workforce & students earning an NCRC, as well as employers who support the initiative.  (Learn more at www.workreadycommunities.org

The Certified Work Ready Communities initiative is growing nationwide and becoming an important part of “doing business” for many companies, and your community should be on board.

 If your company is facing tough challenges getting the right people for your workforce, then including NCRC in your hiring practices could make a tremendous difference in your hiring success.  CWRC will help Missouri attract, develop, and retain a workforce with the education and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.

Your local Area Business Manager at Missouri Enterprise can help you connect with the right people so you can get on board to help your community and your company.  (call 800-956-2682).  You can also get complete details online at https://www.ded.mo.gov/getcertified.