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Grady Gatzemeyer Meets Governor Nixon

Grady Gatzemeyer and Governor Jay Nixon

Henry County was one of seven counties recognized at the national best practices conference as a Certified Work Ready Community in St. Louis by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Oct. 7

Governor Nixon was in Clinton Friday, Nov. 14, at 11:15 a.m. to make the award presentation at the Clinton Technical School, 602 South 5th Street. Everyone was invited to the presentation. 

A special thank you to the hard-working committee that made this possible: Christa Atchison, Chairperson; Emily Wilson; Jake Fowler, Clinton Tech School; Roger Cook, GVMH; Brenda Bryan and Jo Lynn Turley, SFCC; Dan Wallace and Dr. Craig Eaton.

On Oct. 7 in St. Louis, Gov. Nixon recognized and congratulated business and community leaders from seven Missouri counties for those counties being designated as a Certified Work Ready Community by American College Testing (ACT). The recognition was given at a national symposium on best practices on workforce development, sponsored by ACT in St. Louis.

Missouri leads the nation in Certified Work Ready Communities, and Jasper County, Missouri, was the first to receive that designation in early 2013. Butler, Franklin and Ripley counties were designated earlier this year. On Oct. 7, three more Missouri counties that recently have earned the CWRC designation – Henry, Jefferson and St. Francois counties – were recognized, along with the previous four counties.

"A skilled workforce is essential to a strong economy, and we are proud that Missouri leads the nation in this initiative to train workers and match them with employers needing those skills," Gov. Nixon said on Oct. 7 at the symposium in St. Louis. "My administration has been committed to strengthening Missouri’s work-force and making sure local communities have the tools and resources needed to attract new jobs and new investments to every corner of our state. By promoting initiatives like Certified Work Ready Communities, we will continue our economic growth by providing more Missouri businesses with the workforce they need to create jobs and prosper."

In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative by ACT. The initiative aligns work-force training programs with the economic development needs of communities; matches appropriate applicants to jobs based on skill level; and strengthens businesses by strengthening the workforce.

"By achieving this designation, these counties are demonstrating that their partners in education and economic development are working together to prepare their workers to compete and succeed in today’s global economy," Gov. Nixon said on Oct. 7 at the symposium in St. Louis. "We will continue to support communities throughout the state as we work to create more jobs and more opportunities for Missourians."

Local employers, educational institutions and workforce development organizations all have supported the counties’ efforts to achieve this important certification. By participating in ACT's Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, those counties are:

·Helping workers understand what skills are required by employers, and how to prepare themselves for success;

·Helping businesses effectively communicate their workforce needs to area education and workforce training programs;

·Providing educators with the tools needed to close the skills gap by establishing career pathways for students with stackable industry-recognized credentials; and

·Equipping economic development organizations with an on-demand reporting tool to promote the quality of their workforce.

In addition to those seven counties, 32 Missouri counties are currently "in progress" and are on track to become fully certified within two years.

Those counties are Adair, Barry, Barton, Boone, Buchanan, Cape Girardeau, Chariton, Christian, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Howard, Howell, Laclede, Lawrence, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Maries, Moniteau, Monroe, Newton, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Randolph, Saline, Vernon and Washington counties.