Hancock County has been accepted into a nationwide grassroots initiative to help businesses thrive and give communities a competitive edge in economic development.
The county will have two years to complete certification training to become an ACT Work Ready Community. ACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success through research and programs focusing on education and workforce development.
“ACT Work Ready Community is a unified effort between industry and community partners to assess skills and to close gaps, so our workforce can compete globally,” said Bill Cork, chief executive officer of the Port and Harbor Commission. “To win new companies and expand opportunities for our citizens we must demonstrate that we have an available qualified workforce. ACT Work Ready Community certification will do just that.”
The goal is to link workforce development to education and match individuals to jobs based on their skill levels, with an emphasis on technical careers. Partners include the Hancock County Board of Supervisors, the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commis-sion, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, Pearl River Community College, Hancock County School District, Bay-Waveland School District, the employers in Hancock County, and community leaders.
“Working with Hancock County to become an ACT Certified Community is a critical aspect of Pearl River Community College’s mission. Having a nationally recognized credential that can help an individual gain a life sustaining career is a huge benefit to the citizens of Hancock County,” said Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, vice president of workforce and economic development at PRCC.
By participating in ACT’s Work Ready Communities initiative, the county will help busi-nesses and industries identify what skills they need for a productive workforce and give individuals an understanding of what skills are required by employers and how to gain those skills. The program also will help educators develop training programs and give economic developers a new tool to market their quality of the county’s workforce.
Employers and others who want to help Hancock County reach the ACT Work Ready Communities goals and recognize the county’s initiative in developing the workforce can sign up at https://www.workreadycommunities.org/business/form