Weakley County recently earned national recognition as an ACT® Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) in Tennessee, becoming one of only 14 counties in the state to achieve this milestone, and the final county in LWDA 12 to be certified. Certification as a Work Ready Community means the county has job candidates with proven work ready skills as evidenced by the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). It also shows that local employers recognize the need for employees with national certifications that fulfill their hiring needs. According to Margaret Prater, Executive Director for the Northwest TN Workforce Board, Weakley County has received 27 employer endorsements and 622 job seekers have earned the NCRC as part of the Work Ready Community project. “We are extremely proud of Weakley County leadership for seeing the value in the NCRC for their employers and citizens” Prater said.
Participation in CWRC is voluntary and guided by local elected officials, economic development, business leaders, chambers, educators, and workforce development. As one of only a few counties certified in Tennessee, Weakley County will be better able to attract and develop a workforce with the necessary employment skills top employers are looking for. To become a Certified Work Ready Community, Weakley County leaders participated in the ACT WRC Academy which guided them in defining benchmarks based on economic and workforce development goals. The primary goals for Weakley County were to have three specific groups of citizens earn National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) credentials – the current workforce, transitioning workers or dislocated workers, and the emerging workforce – graduating seniors or students entering postsecondary education. Additionally, county leaders set goals for enlisting employers who recognize or recommend the NCRC as a viable tool in their hiring process.
The NCRC credential is administered in Dresden at the American Job Center located 135 Poplar South. If you are interested in earning your NCRC, call Barbara Hamilton at 731-364-0100. Employers can contact Mike Whitson at 731-286-3585 to discuss how using the NCRC can streamline their hiring process, in addition to getting more information about free job profiling – a detailed process that is used to develop a working definition of specific jobs in a company.
Along with Weakley County, these counties in northwest Tennessee are Certified Work Ready Communities: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, and Obion, and Tipton.