DES MOINES – According to Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert, Taylor County has achieved the Skilled Iowa Community status by meeting all of the metrics for both business commitment and workforce certification.
“Through Skilled Iowa, we are preparing workers of all ages and skill levels to fill open positions,” Wahlert said. “Participation at the community level from local workers, businesses, elected officials and educational institutions will benefit the state as a whole.”
The Skilled Iowa Community announcement took place on Monday in Lenox.
Achieving the Skilled Iowa Community designation takes dedication and commitment from community leaders. The dedication and commitment to the initiative from Bedford Community Schools, Lenox Community Schools, Michael Foods Egg Products Company, Pursuit of Independence and Lenox Chamber of Commerce has driven the county’s success.
The Skilled Iowa Initiative helps develop the workforce by encouraging workers to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Through an assessment, the NCRC measures basic workplace skills. Skilled Iowa encourages employers throughout the state to recognize the certificate and recommend it to job applicants. The benefit for employers is that it can help them evaluate job candidates and find the right worker for their needs, as well as reduce turnover and training costs.
Skilled Iowa aims to have 10 percent of businesses in Skilled Iowa Communities support the program by hiring certified workers and recommending the NCRC to job applicants, accounting for 20 percent of total employment in the area. In those communities, Skilled Iowa sets a goal of 5 percent of the current workforce becoming certified through the NCRC and 20 percent of the “transitioning” workforce — those receiving unemployment insurance or other specified IWD services – becoming certified.