Eight parish teams from CLEDA’s Central Louisiana region recently convened in New Orleans with ACT’s Work ReadyCommunitiesinitiative and the Delta Regional Authority Chairman, Chris Masingill, to begin the process for confirming their respective areas as “Certified Work Ready Communities.” The parishes participating are Allen, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Vernon and Winn, as well as Adams County, MS. Once they have completed the process, these parishes will join Avoyelles and Rapides parishes in earning certification as Work Ready Communities, and Central Louisiana will become a “Certified Work Ready Region.”
“It is exciting to have the Delta Regional Authority’s commitment to build upon previous investments made by the Rapides and Orchard Foundations for this region,” said Jim Clinton, President and CEO of CLEDA. “Site Selectors and major industries are more demending now than ever, and they are demanding NCRC certtifications.”
Each team consists of Workforce Investment Agency Directors and staff, Chambers of Commerce Directors & staff, Economic Development Directors throughout the region, The Orchard Foundation, regional business leaders and local elected officials. The teams are working to document and improve the skills of their workforce and making the parishes more economically competitive. Many team members were able to participate as the result of a grant awarded to CLEDA from the Delta Regional Authority.
The ACT Work Ready Communities initiative is designed to help communities link education and workforce development, certify the skill levels of the local workforce, and respond to the needs of employers by helping to match qualified individuals with available jobs. The initiative uses the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) as a tool to document the skill level of workers, and provide employers with certified workers. Central Louisiana residents have earned more than 11,300 NCRC certificates.
Acceptance into the initiative requires teams to commit to participating in four academies throughout the year. They will work within their parishes to engage employers in the NCRC system, as well as encouraging the workforce to earn the NCRC. The Academy is the second step of ACT’s five-step process for attaining a fully sustainable, certified workforce development system. For information on how your business can connect to the Certified Work Ready Communities team in your Central Louisiana parish, please contact Sondra Redmon at email@example.com.