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What is an ACT Work Ready Community?

ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC) empower states, regions, and counties with data, processes, and tools that drive economic growth. Participants leverage the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to measure and close the skills gap and build common frameworks that link, align, and match their workforce development efforts.

States with State or County-led ACT Work Ready Communities. Click a state or use the "View a State" menu to the right. States with State or County-led ACT Work Ready Communities. Please use the "select a state" menu above to view a state.

States with State or County Led ACT Work Ready Communities

About the data on this site

States with state- or county-led ACT Work Ready Communities

Use this map to find communities including counties, parishes and other county equivalents that participate in the Work Ready Communities program. Select a state or territory to see which communities are working to build an ecosystem that attracts new businesses and benefits workers, employers, and the community-at-large.

Create a Custom Region

Build a report on any economic region by selecting adjacent communities. The report will show aggregate data for the region’s progress towards Work Ready Community goals.

Total ACT WorkKeys National
Career Readiness Certificates


ACT WorkKeys NCRC Levels:









Participating Communities:

Employers Supporting:

Job Profiles:




Participating Communities :


Employers Supporting :


Job Profiles :


Growth of ACT® WorkKeys®

Total Number
Total Number
Total Number


Communities may engage in the ACT Work Ready Communities program. Any municipality may be accepted into the Boot Camp to build and launch their Work Ready Communities initiative.

Learn more about how your community can participate

Community Fast Facts

See who is leading the country in their efforts to build communities that are great for individuals and employers.

Smallest Community Certified

Yazoo, Mississippi | July, 2019

Population: 447

Largest Community Certified

Clark, Nevada | May, 2019

Population: 2,114,793

Most Job Profiles

Clark, Nevada | January, 1970

Job Profiles: 664

Counties with the Most Improvers


Up to 29,999


30,000 - 99,999

Large A

100,000 - 399,999

Large B

400,000 - 649,999

Very Large

650,000 - 999,999


Over 1,000,000











Kent County,



St. Louis County,



Clark County,


Recently Certified Communities

May 2024

May 2024

April 2024

April 2024

Recently Maintained Communities

July 2024

July 2024

July 2024

June 2024

May 2024

May 2024

What Others Are Saying

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce readiness was the signature challenge facing economic developers across the U.S.  If anything, the fast but uneven post-pandemic recovery will bring even greater challenges on the talent availability front.  This new reality illustrates the value of the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative and the underlying data that Work Ready Communities provide to prospective employers.  By furnishing business decision-makers with an apples-to-apples comparison across different labor markets that relies on fundamental, measurable workplace skills, ACT Work-Ready Communities is something every local economic development organization should look at adopting in their area.

Christopher Chung

President and CEO, MBD

"The Mississippi Economic Council appreciates both the Legislature and the Mississippi Department of Education for providing an additional focus on career and technical education. This is another example of the importance of making sure our students have the tools necessary to help them make career decisions that can lead to long-term success right here in Mississippi. The ACT WorkKeys assessment is being used more and more by businesses across the state and provides our students a great pathway to a successful career."

Scott Waller

President and CEO, MEC

"Now more than ever, Missouri needs a strong, skilled workforce to move our economy forward. Initiatives like ACT's Work Ready Communities are critical to preparing our future generation for high-skill, high-demand jobs, and we are proud to be leading the nation in this effort."

Gov. Mike Parson

Governor, State of Missouri

"Having been in site selection for many years, it has always been difficult to assure my clients that there is available, stable and reliable workforce in a community. However, in the last few years when I see that a county is ACT Work Ready I know that they are following the steps in planning for the current and future workforce. Therefore, our tendency at FCG is to look strongly at ACT Work Ready Communities for new site locations. I would encourage all communities to seek that status."

Deane C. Foote, CEcD

Foote Consulting Group, LLC

"As a national site selector, one of the few factors that is critical to almost every company and project is workforce. It is imperative for communities to focus on knowing and improving their existing workforce as well as retaining and attracting high quality talent. ACT Work Ready Communities are setting themselves apart by intentionally developing their local workforce in support of their existing companies while positioning themselves to attract new companies."

Robby Burgan

Manager, Location Strategies

Evergreen Advisors

"ACT Work Ready is truly the best workforce development marketing tool I have seen."

Chad Chancellor


The Next Move Group

New Orleans, Louisiana

"Outstanding program that helps business recruit and retain qualified workers. Congrats on the milestone. As a corrolary would recommend that all counties become Work Ready certified.

Dennis Donovan

Director Global Site Selection

Wadley, Donovan, Gutshaw Consulting

"Jonesboro and Craighead County are a great example of what’s right with Arkansas. Becoming an ACT Work Ready Community will make Jonesboro and Craighead County even stronger."

Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Governor, State of Arkansas

"One of the main reasons that they decided to remain in Pottawatomie County was because of the strong work force and the county’s commitment to workforce readiness through the ACT WorkReady program. Pottawatomie County is one of only three counties in the state that are certified Work Ready."

Robert Weimann

Co-Owner, Sarto Countertops

"Being A Work Ready Community Champion allows the ease of hiring the best people, and trusting what you hired them to do. It allows me to help match the employees to jobs based on verified skill levels. Finding the candidate who possesses the proper trade skill through the ACT Work Ready program reduces the overall recruiting, onboarding and training cost. It’s a win-win for all involved."

Tracey Faulkner

Director of Human Resources, R-Tech Tool & Machine, Inc.

“Missouri's pioneering spirit is evident in Jasper County, which became the first-ever ACT Work Ready Community more than a decade ago. Since then, the program has been a transformative force, helping countless individuals gain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today's workforce. Through the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate and the ACT Work Ready Communities program, employers can easily match the skills and aptitudes they need with a ready and capable workforce. The program is one of the most innovative and effective ways to support our workforce and strengthen our economy.”

Subash Alias

CEO, Missouri Partnership

See more ACT WorkKeys testimonials on YouTube

How Work Ready Communities Are Winning the Growth Game

Site Selectors and Businesses are Taking Notice

Site Selection Magazine Regional Workforce Development Rankings include ACT NCRCs as one of five measures of workforce-related resources!

How does your state stack up?

Site Selection Magazine reaches global corporate location decision-makers.

Find Out Now

The Role of Employers

Employers are the fuel that drives successful state and county Work Ready Communities initiatives simply by recognizing the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate. In doing so, they will have a more qualified workforce ready to fill their jobs.

Learn more about why employers should recognize ACT WorkKeys NCRCs.

28805 Employers recognize the ACT WorkKeys NCRC

Hire the Best Employees

Employers can rest assured that when an applicant has the National Career Readiness Certificate on their resume, they have verified skills in:

  • Workplace documents
  • Applied math
  • Graphic literacy
Learn More (PDF)

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