The availability of skilled workers is the #1 factor in business location decisions.
Oklahoma’s nationally recognized Work Ready Communities program gives counties and regions a way to earn certification of their workforce and thus assure employers of the quality of their workforce.
This prestigious recognition gives these areas decided advantages when competing to retain, grow, and attract both human capital (jobs & talent) and financial capital (investment).
Based on objective, verifiable data, the certification process quantifies the capability of a significant portion of the area’s workforce and documents high school performance, as well as the continuing commitment to improve it.
Certification is good for one year only, assuring employers of the currency of the objective data at the heart of the program. Recertification requires an annual application process. This promotes a sustained commitment and effort at the local and regional level to maintain this valuable certification.
A county or region (a group of contiguous counties) may apply.
The Work Ready Communities program expands Oklahoma’s Skills Assessment and Certification program for employees and job seekers, which uses ACT’s WorkKeys assessment tool and Career Readiness Certificates (CRCs).
Businesses use this nationally recognized program to recruit and hire new employees and promote and train incumbent workers. Job seekers use WorkKeys and CRCs to identify education or training gaps and to validate their qualifications. And school systems use this program to help students plan their study paths and careers and to develop curriculum that bridges the gap between education and the world of work.
By framing workforce readiness in economic development terms, Oklahoma’s Work Ready Communities program brings together Employment (employers; workforce system), Education (all levels of schools systems), and Economic Development (local & regional development organizations; all levels of government) in successful and powerful coalitions. The shared and compelling goal of a certified workforce unites all players.