Midwest Partnership Region Gains Skilled Iowa Community Status

 
Sherri Vaughn of IowaWORKS presents Sarah Gomez a plaque designating Guthrie County as a Skilled Iowa Community at the MWP Golf Outing.

On June 29th, Guthrie County was recognized as a “Skilled Iowa Community,” thereby designating Midwest Partnership’s whole four county region with the “Skilled Iowa Community” status. Adair and Audubon Counties both received the designation in 2015, and Greene County was designated in 2016. The Skilled Iowa Initiative works to increase skill levels of Iowa’s workforce – which helps people find great jobs, companies find skilled workers, and our state’s economy to grow and prosper.

The Skilled Iowa Initiative helps develop the workforce by encouraging workers to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), which can be identified on resumes and job applications. Through an assessment, the NCRC measures basic workplace skills. Skilled Iowa encourages employers throughout the state to recognize the certificate and recommend it to job applicants.

Sherri Vaughn, a business marketing specialist with IowaWORKS, explains that “since the NCRC is recognized nationwide, it is a great tool for both employers and job applicants. Similar to the ACT as a tool for college applicants, the NCRC helps measure workers’ skill levels through a standardized test, identifying skills as Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.”  

Skilled Iowa aims to have 10 percent of businesses in Skilled Iowa Communities support the program by hiring certified workers and recommending the NCRC to job applicants, accounting for 20 percent of total employment in the area. In those communities, Skilled Iowa sets a goal of 5 percent of the current workforce becoming certified through the NCRC and 20 percent of the “transitioning” workforce -- those receiving unemployment insurance or other specified IWD services – becoming certified.

Skilled Iowa

NCRC in MWP Region

Adair 

County

Audubon 

County

Greene

County

Guthrie

County

Total Tested for NCRC

265

199

288

207

         # Employed

186

123

179

125

         # Unemployed

79

76

109

72

Committed Businesses

73

43

59

63

 # of Employed by Committed Businesses

1,508

1,007

1,713

1,136

 

“The benefit to employers is that the NCRC can help them evaluate job candidates and find the right worker for their needs, as well as reduce turnover and training costs,” states Sarah Gomez, Executive Director of Midwest Partnership EDC. “Workforce has been identified as a key business issue in our region and throughout the state. Not only is the NCRC a great tool for existing businesses, it can also be used for business attraction. The Skilled Iowa Community status elevates the region’s laborshed with a measurable designation, declaring the quality of the region’s workforce.”

For more information, visit skillediowa.org or http://bit.ly/2tGvZIg.

Audubon County Iowa Workforce Development Workforce designation Skilled Iowa Community Skilled Iowa Greene County Adair County IowaWORKS Guthrie County

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