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Posted on: October 16, 2018

Harrisonville residents to benefit as Cass County named Certified Work Ready Community

Cass County Courthouse on the Harrisonville Square.

Residents of both Harrisonville and Cass County have received good news as the Cass County Corporation for Economic Development (CCCED) was recently notified by the State of Missouri that the county has met the criteria for certification as a Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC).

The designation recognizes the achievement of certain workforce development goals for the county and identifies and demonstrates the number of qualified workers available and what skill level they have, using the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC) developed by ACT.

The end goal of Missouri Work Ready Communities (MWRC) is to attract, retain and develop a workforce with the right education and foundational skills ready to succeed in the 21st century, attract new companies and support the current business community.

Cass County now joins 93 of Missouri’s 114 counties that have achieved their certification or are working on the attainment of that recognition.

“It is a wonderful achievement for Cass County, not just for the certification but for the new working relationships that have been established through the initiative,” CCCED Executive Director Bill Brown said. “A big thank you is extended to all of our members of the CWRC Steering Committee and the various businesses, civic organizations and individuals who have helped the county to attain the certification.”

The impetus behind the 21-month initiative was a desire to engage the broader Cass County community in a discussion and workplan to make our county more competitive and doing that through closing the skills gap that so often shackles local economic development efforts.

The effort brought together an array of Cass County stakeholders, including a representative from the City of Harrisonville, in an effort to:

• Link workforce development to education.

• Align the economic development needs of our communities, regionals and state.

• Match individuals to jobs based on skill levels.

The foundation of the certification is based on individuals earning a WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate and employers recognizing the certificate. The certificate, called a National Career Readiness Certificate is a portable, industry recognized credential that identifies an individual’s skills in workplace documents, applied math and graphic literacy-skills required for 77 percent of jobs in the United States.

The CWRC Steering Committee has determined that while attaining the CWRC certification, the group’s workforce development efforts will continue, and the working group will now be known as the Cass County Workforce Development Collaborative.

“The Cass County Coalition of Chambers (CCCC) and our member Chambers of Commerce were very happy to actively participate in the Certified Work Ready Community initiative. These efforts add value to our organization’s members and our communities and we want to continue to participate in workforce development activities”, said Bing Schimmelpfenning, President of the CCCC and Executive Director of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce.

Interested parties in working with the collaborative should contact William H. Brown at bill@ccced.org or (816) 877-1450.