Workforce ready designation good for local businesses and potential employees

Published 8:37 pm Saturday, July 21, 2018

Warren County has been officially certified as workforce ready, the latest step in partnering jobs through education training.

Over the last several months, the Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Partnership has been working with Hinds Community College and the Vicksburg Warren School District to become the latest ACT Certified Workforce Ready community in Mississippi. This designation is important for current and future employers who can gauge through the collected data the quality and skills of the local workforce.

More than 650 members of Warren County’s workforce were tested to determine their level of knowledge and skill in accordance with national standards from ACT, which helps the community in linking workforce development to education, aligning the workforce economic development needs of our community with regional needs, and assists in matching individuals to jobs based on their skill level.

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This joint effort between education and the economic development community is critical in attracting new industry, while also upgrading the current workforce.

“Today, education and economic development are more in sync in Warren County than ever before and this certification is one of the early results of that very important alignment,” Pablo Diaz, president and CEO of the VWEDC, said. “The data obtained through this certification offers a unique opportunity to understand the skill level of our sample workforce and to plan for any changes in the education and training systems that we deem necessary in order to have a more prepared, more skilled workforce.”

Education leaders agree.

“We at the Vicksburg-Warren campus of Hinds Community College are very excited about Warren County becoming a work ready community,” Marvin Moak, vice president of the Vicksburg-Warren campus, said. “Through the combined efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the community as a whole, this new status opens many opportunities for this community.”

The workforce testing process is not complete with employers sending their employees and potential employees on a regular basis to the HCC campus in Vicksburg.

“We are testing for businesses daily, and the companies are getting the results that day, which helps them in their hiring processes,” Moak said.

We congratulate all those involved in this accomplishment and urge more businesses to take advantage of this certification.