Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce members heard about making Newton County a Work Ready Community Initiative during the quarterly luncheon held on Thursday at the Civic.
“Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative helps prepare workforce to the needs of employers via the education system, via the economic developers, so it actually gives economic developers certified data that they can either use with existing businesses or new businesses coming to the area,” said Troy Roland, business services team leader with WorkForce Investment. “So it verifies workforce skills.”
Roland told the chamber members some keynote points after the noon meal.
“One, it is easy to become a partner as a business, as an employer, you can either recommend or if you want to have your jobs profiled, you can actually require certain levels that match the skills needed for the job,” he said. “So the key thing was we needed employers on board to sign those partnership letters.”
As such, Roland was trying to not only get the information out to the area businesses about the Work Ready Communities Initiative, but also to get more on board with this program.
“The goal is for Newton County to become certified Work Ready in the ACT Academy,” Roland said. “And to do that, we are going to need 65 partners, employers, all of the testing numbers looks like we are going be in line for those. May 31 is the deadline to submit that application. So we roughly need about 30 more employer partners, and we will be able to file that for certified Work Ready.”
Two of the Neosho employer partners are the Neosho R-5 School District and Crowder College.
Neosho R-5 School District superintendent Alma Stipp spoke about the program.
“Certificates in job candidate credibility and employers will know that we have a workforce qualified to be confident employees and that is important when we try to draw businesses to our community,” she said. “In my opinion, I like this because it calls for a certain amount of commitment on part of the employee to provide something that says, ‘I can do this job.’”
Roland emphasized the advantages for them to join.
“The advantages for the employer is that it makes their hiring process easier, they can hire the right individual the first time, instead of trying to guess,” he said. “For an individual looking for work, it actually verifies the workplace skills, so if there are 1,000 applicants and if you have a gold certificate, you can walk in and be the first in line because you actually verify your skills on your resume.”
And when May 31 comes about, Roland said, “the steering committee, will submit the application for Work Ready status and then once that vote happens after May 31, they will certify it as ‘in progress’ if goals haven’t been met, if all of the goals have been met, they will certify Newton County as certified Work Ready just as Jasper County was.”
Page 2 of 2 - There is no cost for the employer or the individual to join.
“It is a win-win for the region, Newton County and the Neosho area,” Roland said.
For more information, contact the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri at 206-1717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.