FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2019
Tate County Launches their ACT® Work Ready Community Initiative
Senatobia, Mississippi: The Tate County Economic Development Foundation (EDF) announced today, they have engaged in the process for Tate County to become a certified ACT Work Ready Community. This practice demonstrates commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, desirable to employers, economic developers and to current and future citizens of the county.
The ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT® WRC) initiative empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth by identifying skills gaps and quantifying the skill level of their workforce. Participants leverage the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (ACT® WorkKeys® NCRC®) to measure and close skills gaps and build common frameworks that link, align and match their workforce development efforts.
To begin the Work Ready Communities process, Tate County leaders attended the ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC) Boot Camp, an executive leadership and training program designed and led by ACT to initiate, deploy, and drive carefully tailored efforts to improve the county’s work readiness. Leaders meet with local employers, policymakers, educators and economic developers to reach established goals and build a sustainable WRC model to fit community needs.
Britt Herrin, Tate County Team Leader and Executive Director of the Tate County EDF said: “I want to thank members of our team who are volunteering their efforts to help improve our workforce and in turn our economic development efforts. I must also thank Entergy Mississippi for sponsoring the ACT WRC Bootcamps in Mississippi that were held in Senatobia and Pearl this summer. Entergy saved Tate and other Mississippi Counties thousands of dollars in travel costs and lots of time by hosting the Boot Camps in Mississippi.” Other Team Members are: Cole Massie, Tate County Administrator, Doug Freeze of Northwest Mississippi Community College, Dwayne Casey of Northwest Mississippi Community College; and member of the Senatobia School District Board of Trustee’s, Mary Ann Myers of the Mississippi Development Authority, Ken Thompson, EDF Board member and longtime Tate County Industrial Executive, Charles Floyd, Director of the Tate County Career Tech Center (CTC) and Jamie Sowell, of the Senatobia Main Street Chamber of Commerce, and Tate County EDF Community Development Manager.
“Congratulations to Tate County for joining this initiative, and a growing list of counties dedicated to building a robust workforce,” said ACT Regional Manager, Tony Garife. “The determination of Tate County’s leadership to engage in this process demonstrates active partnerships between all stakeholders in the community, and will provide the county with an economic development advantage, helping them stand out nationally for their workforce development efforts.”
Team Members Britt Herrin, Ken Thompson, Dwayne Casey and Mary Ann Myers attended the ACT WRC Boot Camp held at the Haraway Center at Northwest Mississippi Community College in May. Britt Herrin and Mary Ann Myers attended the second Boot Camp held at Hinds Community College in Pearl in August.
Ken Thompson, longtime Industrial Manager and HR Executive in Tate County commented on his experience using NCRC. “I used the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate ( NCRC) to assess potential employees for a successful startup project to hire 130 employees in less than 4 months. It was an excellent tool to assess the skill levels of potential employees. I would recommend all employers include the NCRC in their hiring program and all job seekers earn the NCRC to provide to employers as a verification of work skills. The NCRC is the best skills assessment tool I found in my 30 years of work in Human Resources.”
Doug Freeze, Assistant Director of Workforce Solutions at Northwest Mississippi Community College, who has worked with numerous counties in the NWCC District in promoting NCRC stated,” In the past, the success of economic development recruitment and expansion projects hinged on ‘location, location, location’. The conversation has now shifted to ‘workforce, workforce, workforce’. By participating in ACT’s Work Ready Communities program, Tate County is sending a clear signal that they understand the importance of identifying, assessing, and developing their local workforce. “
For more information on this initiative, go to www.workreadycommunities.org and view all of ACT’s workforce solutions at www.act.org/workforce