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Pottawattamie County now a Work Ready Community

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Pottawattamie County officials are celebrating certification as an ACT Work Ready Community.

According to local stakeholders, the initiative empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth by identifying skill gaps and quantifying the skill level of their workforce. Over 120 businesses in Pottawattamie County have already shown support for ACT WRC.

ACT said the county has demonstrated its commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, desirable to employers, economic developers and current and future citizens of the county.

“We now have a lot of resources available to us because we are certified through ACT,” said Alicia Frieze, Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce workforce development director at a celebration held Tuesday at Iowa Western Community College.

Pottawattamie County community leaders met with local employers, policymakers, educators and economic developers to establish goals and build a sustainable WRC model to fit community needs, according to a release on the designation.

“We are very, very happy that this is happening,” said Drew Kamp, Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We have public, we have private, we have nonprofit, they all have a role to place, they all need to be at the table, we can’t leave people out because they all have something to bring to bear.”

Another piece that community leaders have been working on is the National Career Readiness Certificate, which is a credential that “certifies the essential skills for workplace success.” Abraham Lincoln High School now requires that every student out of high school get their NCRC — a valid predictor of job performance that employers can use.

“Congratulations to Pottawattamie for becoming an ACT Work Ready Community, and joining a growing list of counties dedicated to building a robust workforce,” ACT Regional Manager of Workforce Initiatives Tony Garife said in the release. “The efforts of the county leadership to achieve WRC certification will provide the community with a tremendous economic development advantage and help it stand out for its workforce development efforts.”

For more information visit workreadycommunities.org.

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