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Eau Claire County named ACT Work Ready Community

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Eau Claire County named ACT Work Ready Community

CVTC, community partners lead charge to secure first-in-WI designation

work ready community badge

Chippewa Valley Technical College was alerted that Eau Claire County has been designated the first ACT Work Ready Community in Wisconsin after the College began collaborating with community partners to secure the designation. 

The elite certification indicates a county’s workforce quality and skills, said Lynette Livingston, CVTC provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. Although Eau Claire is the first county in Wisconsin to earn the designation, 559 communities throughout the United States currently are certified. Certifications are valid for two years.

ACT Work Ready Communities links workforce development to education, aligns with the economic development needs of communities, regions, and states, and matches individuals to jobs based on skill levels, according to the organization’s website.

“It’s an additional opportunity to align workforce and education to meet the economic needs of the state and local communities,” she said. “This is a draw for businesses to set up shop in our region. It’s a workforce building block for CVTC and the community as a whole.”

How it works: More than 80 organizations in Eau Claire County have agreed to recognize the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) – a portable, evidence-based credential earned by completing and ranking scores in the Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents assessments.

During the hiring process, if a candidate presents an NCRC certificate, businesses are better able to fit qualified individuals with open positions. Another opportunity for organizations is to create position profiles that identify specific knowledge and skills required. Once the profile has been created, the information is entered into proprietary software that aligns the job to specific WorkKeys assessment levels to determine the minimum requirements for the position, Livingston said.

The assessment is optional for high school students. Some school districts offer the assessment to select populations. Many of the College’s High School Academy Business Management students take the assessment because they earn credit for their Math Reasoning course if taken.

“When we come together and can work on a shared effort, that’s when we see results, and that’s our evidence,” Livingston said. “We reach those important workforce milestones of closing the skills gap when we have a shared understanding of the goals. This is an opportunity to connect all of the dots.”

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