Ready for Work Spotlights Lucas County, Ohio's Fusion of Workforce and Economic Development March 07, 2024

Episode 47 features Tonia Saunders, who leads both workforce and economic development in Lucas County, Ohio. This Work Ready Community (WRC) integrated the two disciplines, emphasizing the role of collaboration with neighboring counties to enhance the region's competitiveness. Tonia shares insights on tackling workforce challenges, leveraging community partnerships and innovative strategies to serve the manufacturing and healthcare industries effectively. The episode highlights the success of Lucas County's WRC initiative, showcasing how it drives economic growth and improves employment opportunities through targeted employer engagement and comprehensive support services. This conversation underlines the importance of synergy between workforce and economic development in achieving regional prosperity.

KATC-TV: JHS Students are Increasing Test Scores March 06, 2024

Jennings High schoolers are collaborating with teachers, faculty and staff to improve test scores. JHS Principal Selena Gomes said she's doing whatever it takes to help students prepare for college and/or the workforce after graduating. While many students struggle with standardized tests, Gomes said she recognizes that every student has individual needs.

Flexibility Is Key in the Workforce - Video Blog with Joe T. Wood February 29, 2024

Joe T. Wood, special projects coordinator at Hardeman County Schools in Tennessee, sees opportunity amid what he calls the "fourth industrial revolution." He spoke with ACT at the 2023 Workforce Summit about how skills-based hiring addresses changing workforce demands.

As Joe explains, skills-based hiring shifts the focus to employers, offering a more deliberate and transparent approach to assessing essential skills. He also gives insight into the need for a more flexible and responsive approach to career readiness to address the reality that “every kid’s going to have a career.”

Reflecting on obstacles and opportunities, Joe underscores the importance of rethinking traditional models to prepare students for diverse career pathways.

Hear all of Joe’s valuable insights in the video.

MCC Braids Funding and Alignment for Program Sustainability February 29, 2024

Braided funding and alignment of partnerships are key when creating sustainable systems and programs for your community.  Lyndsie Gibbs and Alex Lovrien from Metropolitan Community College in Omaha join us on Episode 46 of Ready for Work. The partnerships across this Work Ready Community grew a small, data-driven, proof of concept into a $10M venture that has eliminated financial barriers so individuals can access quality training, education, and gainful employment.  Listen in for best practices on braided funding, opportunities and obstacles, tips to get started, and lessons learned.

More Than 50 Grb Students Earn National Career Readiness Credentials at Fulton, NY January 31, 2024

More than fifty students at Fulton’s GRB High School recently earned their ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, demonstrating the skills and knowledge essential for the modern workplace. This nationally recognized program is well-regarded in over 30 US states but is only beginning to take root in New York.

Podcast: Skilled Through Alternative Routes - Why STARs Matter to the Workforce December 20, 2023

Join us in Episode 45 to discover a groundbreaking partnership between ACT and Opportunity at Work. Georgia Gillette, VP of Strategic Alliances at Opportunity at Work, shares insights on STARs (Skilled Through Alternative Routes) and the Tear the Paper Ceiling campaign. Discover the challenges faced by STARs, the impact of hiring misperceptions,

Mississippi education officials collaborate with employers on WorkKeys and other needs December 20, 2023

To ensure the needs of Mississippi’s workforce are being met, directors of the Mississippi Department of Education and Interim State Superintendent Raymond Morgigno participated in an advisory meeting last week with business and workforce development leaders in the Magnolia State. Discussions included ways to expand WorkKeys testing in high schools statewide.

ACT Partner Wins Runner-Up in Future Finder Challenge December 01, 2023

Congratuations to ACT partner, Workbay, as runner-up in the U.S. Department of Education's Future Finder Challenge. The Workbay team will receive an additional $250,000 to support the continued development and deployment of their digital career navigation tools.

Workbay championed new career navigation tools integrated with WorkKeys skill benchmarks. The platforms offer job seekers a community-specific mobile app and web-based platform that connects them to local resources as well as videos, learning content, and job postings. Workbay links recruitment with skill-building programs to help learners identify and successfully pursue local careers of interest. Throughout the Future Finder Challenge, Workbay focused on expanding its platform to support adults currently and formerly incarcerated and worked with people who are incarcerated to test and refine its solution.

ATU Celebrates Franklin County WRC November 21, 2023

An effort by the Education and Industry Alliance 360 Partnership to improve the readiness of the Franklin County workforce has yielded certification as an ACT Work Ready Community. Partners in the initiative include Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus, the Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Ozark High School, the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District and elected officials in Franklin County.

Guest Blog Examines Future of Equity in Workforce Success November 16, 2023

In recent months, Jobs for the Future President Maria Flynn engaged in conversations with ACT about strategies for improving postsecondary education and workforce equity, alignment, and success. In a new ACT blog post, Maria answers questions about how certain populations are underserved by education and workforce systems, why career services and navigational supports need to be modernized, and the importance of intentionality and consistency in education and workforce success efforts.