Work Ready Students Is Goal of New Program: Employers Cooperation Needed

Fort Scott High School.

Workers are needed across the state to fill workforce needs.

The Kansas State Board of Education, working with Kansas legislators, are providing the opportunity for juniors in high school, including Fort Scott, to take assessments to help fill those workforce needs.

The title of the program is ACT Work Ready Community and is paid for by Kansas legislators in collaboration with the state board of education.

Students are offered two assessments for the program and can either take the ACT, or ACT WorkKeys, or both.

The program facilitators are hoping to fill job vacancies in Bourbon County.

“An opportunity was seen to provide a connection for local Bourbon County employers to gain understanding of the ACT and the ACT WorkKeys assessment to help fill and build their workforce,” USD 234 Superintendent Ted Hessong said.  “The opportunity for juniors to take the ACT assessments will continue this school year and for years to come.”

A career readiness certificate can be earned, after taking an assessment, which will help to evaluate future employees for the workforce skills needed.

The program allows employers to use it as a tool to see if the skills set will work for their need.

“ACT Work Ready Community is a program to provide Bourbon County the distinction of a county where the employers recognize the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate earned upon completion of taking the ACT WorkKeys assessment, as a tool to evaluate future employees,” Hessong said.

The basis of the certification: current and future workers earn the certificate and the employers recognize the credential.

“Employers can be the fuel to drive successful state and county Work Ready Communities initiatives simply by recognizing the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate®. And in doing so, they will have a more qualified workforce ready to fill their jobs,” according to the ACT Work Ready Communities website.

“The foundation of a community’s certification is based on individuals at the county level across the current, transitioning and emerging workforce, earning an ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate®…and employers recognizing the ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®,” Hessong said. “(It) is a portable, industry-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual’s WorkKeys® skills in workplace documents, applied math, and graphic literacy.”
A collaboration of local entities and employers will have two years to start reaching goals for the program.
“The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Bourbon County Economic Development, USD 234, Fort Scott Community College, and Bourbon County employers will have two years to attain goals set by ACT Work Ready in order to be recognized as an ACT Work Ready Community,” Hessong said.
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