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Grant County, Arkansas
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the No. 1 question he gets in recruiting private industry to Arkansas is how is industry going to get a workforce. The 10 counties in the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District have become certified as ACT Work Ready Communities, state and district officials announced Wednesday.
"What you have done has allowed us to make the case that we have the workforce that is trained [and] ready to go," the Republican governor told more than 50 officials from southeast Arkansas at the state Capitol. "We know exactly their levels of expertise. They are certified, and we can make the case that southeast Arkansas is ready to do business and ready to receive a new investment of industry."
“This achievement required a collaborative effort of a number of groups and individuals,” said Brad McGinley, chairman of Kick Start Sheridan. “It’s a great promotional tool for our community and clearly demonstrates that Sheridan and Grant County are ready to compete for more, better-paying jobs.”
Arkansas Ready for Life launched enhancements to their online career exploration cards that link to WorkKeys skill profiles. The new tool helps users set understand the skills they need to acquire to meet career and life goals. Available now at https://www.readyforlife.com/, users can browse career pathways and personalize learning with a wide variety of courses. The currently employed can browse industry or other training while prospective hires can become familiar with a new field before applying to a position.
Central Arkansas high school students have the chance to earn a work readiness certificate before they graduate, and the unique test can not only get graduates hired but also paid a higher wage.
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has a new Assistant Director. Eddie Thomas previously served as Workforce Development Director at the Southeast Arkansas Planning and Development District in Pine Bluff. Thomas is set to lead the Employment Assistance Unit, which governs statewide WIOA programming and local workforce board activities. Under Eddie's leadership, all ten southeast counties are now participating in Work Ready Communities.