Tom Green County Achieves ACT “Work Ready Community” Status
October 09, 2017
Tom Green County has earned a nationally recognized certification as an ACT Work Ready Community with the help of AmeriCorps VISTA member, Sara Lamog. Additionally a $161,841.00 grant was secured through the Wagner-Peyser program to continue supporting workforce innovation efforts throughout the Concho Valley.
The collaborative AmeriCorps VISTA project between the City of San Angelo Economic Development Corporation and Concho Valley Workforce Development Board aims to address poverty and low wages by providing foundational work skills assessments, training/re-training opportunities to close skill gaps, and job placement assistance to achieve livable earnings and self-sufficiency.
Work Ready Communities improve and measure the skill level of their workforces through a recognized standard – the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™. This credential is issued at the bronze, silver, gold or platinum levels to indicate career readiness. Earning the certificate allows job seekers the competitive edge when applying for jobs. Additionally, local employers have committed their support of the program by recognizing or recommending the National Career Readiness Certificate during hiring and promotional opportunities.
Tom Green County has made great strides in achieving certification goals since March– jumping from 77% to 100% goal achievement by August. As of October 6, 2017: 272 students, 361 currently employed workers, and 596 transitioning job seekers have earned the National Career Readiness Certificate. Almost 100 local employers have formally registered their support.
Efforts to expand the Work Ready Community Initiative in a regional program have also been made. The Leadership Team has met with County Judges from the entire Concho Valley and all have expressed interest in the pursuing the program. To date, 2 counties have officially granted their support for the program, with more expected to engage throughout the rest of the year.