Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Team Bradley County Receives Certification

Left to Right:
Denisa Pennington Bradley County Economic Development Corp., board member
Kristin Weeks, Workforce Coordinator, SEACBEC Adult Education
Bethany Robbins, Human Relations Manager, Potlatch Corporation
Angela Scroggins, High School Counselor, Hermitage School District
Individuals representing Team Bradley County recently received a certification for successfully completing ACT Work Ready Communities Academies. The final ACT® Work Ready Communities Academy was recently held in Dallas, TX.   This was the fourth and final intense two-day training session of a series that has taken place over the past 12-months, meeting in different geographic locations including Atlanta, Denver, and Dallas.  This is a grant funded initiative of the Workforce Alliance of Southeast AR. The Workforce Alliance was established through grants awarded to UAM from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Delta Regional Authority.  The combined regional team from the counties of Ashley, Bradley, Desha, Drew, and Lincoln consists of economic developers, administrators from UAM, public schools districts, and adult education programs -- and of greatest importance -- business and industry owners and managers.  A total of nineteen individuals from five southeast Arkansas counties have taken part in the Academy sessions.
The ACT® Work Ready Communities (ACT WRC)® Academy is for leaders who want to move aggressively forward into a 21st century approach to work readiness and economic development. The Academy is a twelve month performance-driven program that state and local WRC leadership teams use to initiate, deploy and drive carefully tailored statewide efforts that will grow the number of counties certified as work ready.  The goal is clear:  through the ACT® Work Ready Communities initiative, the regional Alliance will strive to demonstrate to current and future employers that southeast Arkansas is willing to go the extra mile to equip our workforce with the skills employers demand.
To succeed at this goal, WRC leadership teams shape a performance-driven strategy that builds on deploying ACT's testing infrastructure and data gathering. However, the strategy must go beyond these two elements - and the ACT WRC initiative helps leadership teams do that by shaping a 'challenge' that makes the most sense for each state or community's unique circumstances, including - critically – competencies of work readiness. Successful teams are those willing to invest the team time and focus needed to shape and succeed against this challenge-centric approach.
The regional teams are now ready to move to the next phase of the process of becoming a certified Work Ready Community.

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