City of Leesville supports chamber initiative to become ACT certified work ready community

Local News
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City of Leesville Mayor Rick Allen proclaimed the month of September 2015 as “Work Ready Communities Month” in Leesville, encouraging employers to sign on to support this effort and recommending that jobseekers earn a National Career Readiness Certificate.

The City of Leesville, in partnership with the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce, is committed to helping the community to become an ACT Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC).  The Central Louisiana economy requires an educated, skilled  workforce with credentials that are in high demand. The ACT, Inc., Certified Work Ready Communities initiative will provide Leesville with an opportunity to develop standards for employers and job seekers.

“Becoming a Certified Work Ready Community will help us in a number of ways,” said Leesville Mayor Rick Allen. “First, local employers will be able assess applicants for job readiness and skills, taking the guesswork out of finding workers with the right skill set, helping employers save time and money, and ultimately boosting productivity and profits. Second, being a Work Ready Community will give the City a distinct advantage when it comes to attracting business and industry. The program is recognized and trusted by employers throughout the nation and provides evidence that our community has a ready-to-work and skilled workforce for businesses seeking to locate here.”

“As an employer, we are excited to see our City, the Chamber, the school system and the business community teaming together to earn this certification,” said Michael Reese, CEO of American Moving and Storage. “This is an excellent tool for helping to select the best employees with the right skill sets for a particular position, and it is a great way to showcase to other potential businesses the capabilities of the labor force in our area.”

The ACT Work Readiness System provides a way for applicants to be assessed and earn a National Career Readiness Certificate, a portable, evidence-based credential that documents essential skills needed for workplace success. The credential is used across all sectors of the economy and verifies such skills as problem solving, critical thinking, reading and using work-related text among other skills.

The majority of businesses using the Work Readiness System report that it improves their hiring outcomes, reduces turnover and improves productivity.

Possession of a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) among citizens of Vernon Parish has been determined to be vitally important to work readiness and economic growth, the workforce, and economic development efforts.

“We appreciate the participation and support from the City of Leesville and Mayor Allen in helping us to meet our goals,” said Anne Causey of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, “We’ve already accomplished a great deal as a community.”

Thus far, Vernon Parish has attained 92 percent of its goals in the process of becoming a Certified Work Ready Community, with more than 1,500 job seekers having obtained a National Career Readiness Certificate, including emerging job seekers, current job seekers and those transitioning into the workforce from an other area, such as the military, home or another career.

To learn more about the Work Ready Community Initiative and how to make it work for you, whether you are seeking a job or seeking skilled employees, please contact the Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce at 337-238-0340.

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