Skip to main content
microphone icon

ACT's Ready for Work Podcast

  • The Voice of the Workforce Ecosystem
  • Learn the economic development strategies and more
graduate icon

ACT WRC Alumni Calls - 1pm CT

  • August 17, 2023
  • December 14, 2023
an icon of a teacher at instructing

2023 WRC Boot Camp Training Opportunities

New Apprenticeship Toolkit

  • ACT's help boost appenticeship quality and completions

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 are leveraging the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) to measure and close the skills gap — and building 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. AR AL AK MT WY CO UT

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 (counties, parishes and other county equivalents) who are participating in the Work Ready 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 an economic region of your own choosing by selecting adjacent communities. The report will show aggregate data for the region’s progress towards Work Ready goals.

Total ACT® WorkKeys® National
Career Readiness Certificates®

5,837,842

ACT WorkKeys NCRC Levels:

Platinum:

233,006

Gold:

1,208,604

Silver:

2,936,494

Bronze:

1,459,738

Participating Communities:

Employers Supporting:

Job Profiles:

555

28,566

22,669

Participating Communities :

555

Employers Supporting :

28,566

Job Profiles :

22,669

Growth of ACT® WorkKeys®

Total Number
700
625
550
475
400
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
 
Total Number
30K
29K
28K
27K
26K
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
 
Total Number
23K
22.5K
22K
21.5K
21K
2020
2021
2022
2023
2024
 

Communities

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, MS | July, 2019

Population: 447

Largest Community Certified

Clark, NV | May, 2019

Population: 2,114,793

Most Job Profiles

Clark, NV | January, 1970

Job Profiles: 664

Counties with the Most Improvers

Small

Up to 29,999

Medium

30,000 - 99,999

Large A

100,000 - 399,999

Large B

400,000 - 649,999

Very Large

650,000 - 999,999

Mega

Over 1,000,000

41%

DeSoto, LA

30%

Vernon, LA

16%

Rapides, LA

3%

Kent County, MI

4%

St. Louis County, MO

7%

Clark County, NV

Recently Certified Communities

February, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

December, 2023

August, 2023

July, 2023

September, 2023

June, 2023

June, 2023

June, 2023

Recently Maintained Communities

February, 2024

February, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

January, 2024

December, 2023

December, 2023

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, CEO

President and CEO of MEC

"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 of 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."

Mike Parson

Missouri Governor

"Having been in site selection for many years, it has always been difficult to ensure 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."

Mr. Deane C. Foote, CEcD

Foote Consulting Group, LLC

"As a national site selector, one of the few factors that are 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

Co-Founder/CEO

The Next Move Group

New Orleans, Louisiana

"Outstanding program that helps business recruit and retain qualified workers. Congrats on the milestone. As a corrorlary 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."

Governor Asa Hutchinson

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 ACT WorkReady program. Pottawatomie County is one of only three counties in the state that is Certified Work Ready."

Robert Weimann

Co-Owner, Sarto Countertops

"Being A Work Ready Community Champion allows the ease of hiring the best people, and trust 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

play button iconSee 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 2023 Regional Workforce Development Rankings include ACT NCRCs as one of 5 measures of workforce-related resources!

How does your state stack up?

Site Selection Magazine January 2023 Annual State of the States issue reaches global corporate location decision-makers.

Find Out Now

Employers

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.

Learn more about why employers should engage

Employers recognize the ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®

Hire the Best Employees

When candidates apply for jobs at your company, look for the National Career Readiness Certificate®. This credential clearly identifies an individual’s WorkKeys® skills in:

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

In The News

See All News

The Voice of the Workforce Ecosystem

ACT is officially launching our podcast to educate and encourage local and national workforce professionals. If you’re an economic developer, subscribe now to learn how you can have a bigger impact on the industry.

Hear Them All