Participants in the Boeing Pre-Employment Training Program (courtesy of St. Louis Community College)

Business Development

St. Louis County Earns Work Ready Certification

Release courtesy of St. Louis County

St. Louis County is the Nation's Largest to Achieve the Status

ACT Certified Work Ready Community Status — More InfoPhoto Gallery

St. Louis County is pleased to announce that it has achieved ACT Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status.  States, counties and economic development agencies across the United States have adopted the ACT Work Ready Communities program as a means of providing employers evidence of a skilled workforce.

St. Louis County is the largest county nationally (by population) to achieve work ready certification, with 323 companies supporting the program.  The list includes companies like Boeing, Ameren and Sprint.

“The Certified Work Ready designation is a game changer,” County Executive Steve Stenger said.  “With this tool, businesses know the skilled workers they need for a productive workforce are readily available in St. Louis County.  Also, individuals who want to enter the workforce understand what skills are required by employers and how to prepare themselves for success.”

CWRC is partially based on the number of individuals in the St. Louis County workforce who demonstrate proficiency in applied mathematics, understanding workplace documents and graphic literacy.  ACT sets a target number of individuals who must demonstrate through testing they meet these criteria in order for a county to be awarded certification.  Test results showed that St. Louis County has three times the number of highly proficient workers required for certification.

In addition to those currently employed in the public and private sector, the CWRC test group included high school juniors and seniors, college students (technical, vocational, community college and four-year college programs) and recent (past 12 months) graduates.  A group currently unemployed or participating in adult education and GED programs was also assessed.

Achieving ACT Work Ready certification was a collaborative effort in St. Louis County, involving partnerships with municipalities, school districts, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, workforce development professionals, economic development organizations and labor.

Participants in the Boeing Pre-Employment Training Program (courtesy of St. Louis Community College)

“We as educators are thrilled about the CWRC achievement in St. Louis County,” St. Louis Community College Chancellor Dr. Jeff Pittman said.  “We have a dedicated training center where students are learning the skills that make them Certified Work Ready.  After completing our program, they are prepared to enter the workforce and make an immediate contribution to their respective companies.”

Many people recognize ACT from their work with college testing.  ACT has also been involved with workforce development for more than two decades.  In 2012, Missouri was selected to be one of the first four states to participate in the CWRC initiative.  Missouri now has 51 Certified Work Ready counties and 36 others are working toward certification.