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February 26, 2021

Laclede County achieves Certified Work Ready Community status
Gov. Parson and Dr. Leathers celebrate certification event


Laclede County, Missouri, recently achieved ACT Certified Work Ready Community Status. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson spoke at the event celebrating the certification on Friday, Feb. 26, at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon.

The Work Ready Community initiative empowers counties throughout the United States to identify skill gaps and quantify the skill level of its workforce. This helps educators build career pathways aligned with the needs of business and industry.

In order to be considered for the designation, communities must obtain the support from a determined number of businesses in the community and the workforce must earn a certain number of ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates.

By achieving Work Ready Community status, Laclede County has demonstrated the necessary partnerships in place to attract, develop and retain a workforce, with the education and fundamental skills needed for success.

“The educators, employers, and policymakers of Laclede County have built a strong pipeline between schools and businesses,” said Gov. Parson. “Receiving ACT Work Ready certification shows Laclede County’s commitment to its community members and building a skilled and prosperous workforce.” 

Missouri Director of Workforce Development Dr. Mardy Leathers and members of the Lebanon Regional Economic Development Group also spoke at Friday’s celebration.

“Creating job opportunities and building a strong workforce starts at the local level,” said Dr. Leathers. “The workforce leaders of Laclede County have prioritized working with educators and businesses to create opportunities for workers in their community. This certification continues to put Missouri at the front of the pack.”   

To date, Missouri’s workforce has 85 fully certified communities. More than 138,000 ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates have been granted, with 4,457 employers supporting the initiative.

“We see Missouri as a model for the country in championing workforce development, and thank Governor Parson in particular for his commitment to developing a skilled and qualified workforce in communities throughout the state,” said ACT Senior Director of Workforce, Fred McConnel. “As we begin to rebuild economies in a post-COVID world, recognizing the value of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) will open many doors for job seekers by providing another tool in their toolbox. We’re excited to deepen relationships with states, communities and job seekers across the nation to bring workforce success to all.”

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.