Halifax County was recently recognized for its workforce development achievements over the past year at the ACT Workforce Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The annual summit, which brings together experts in business, education, workforce and economic development, included the ACT Work Ready Communities Awards Ceremony and Recognition.
Meagan Owen, coordinator of learner success and engagement for Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), accepted the award on behalf of Halifax County for completing a new set of goals to maintain its certification as a Work Ready Community.
“We are so happy to recognize and award our Work Ready Communities at our annual convening of workforce experts,” said ACT president of measurement Suzana Delanghe. “These participating communities have demonstrated a commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, which is paramount to building stronger communities and fostering business and economic growth.”
In 2016, Halifax County became only the second community in the commonwealth to be designated as a Work Ready Community.
“Halifax County’s designation as a Work Ready Community means that we have a population of emerging, current and transitioning workers who possess the foundational skills and knowledge to perform tasks and jobs needed by employers,” said Owen. “I was happy to accept the award on behalf of Halifax County, because I feel it was a testament to the SVHEC’s mission being carried out.
Since the initial Work Ready Community designation, Halifax County partners have worked diligently to maintain its status. A key component of continued certification as a Work Ready Community, is the number of National Career Readiness Credentials (NCRCs) earned. In 2019, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center awarded 108 NCRCs.
“The achievement of re-certification is the result of collaboration between various partners in Halifax County and represents all of these partners’ commitment to advancing the economic potential of southern Virginia,” Owens continued. “Each individual NCRC awarded through the SVHEC represents an individual prepared and ready to go to work. The sum of these efforts is the county’s re-certification as a Work Ready Community, which validates we are a community with a skilled workforce ready to meet employers’ needs.”
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.
The ACT Work Ready Community initiative includes 486 participating counties and parishes in 29 states.