Hancock County is launching a workforce development program and is joining the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative. Dr. Scott Alsobrooks of Pearl River Community College who serves as Chairman of the Hancock County Workforce Committee made the announcement today during the Annual Meeting of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce. Hancock County will be the first on the Mississippi Coast to be certified.
Through this comprehensive workforce program communities develop a “pipeline” of skilled workers who meet the needs of local businesses and industries. This tool is used throughout the nation to develop a more productive workforce and encourage economic growth.
Dianne Desporte of SABIC, an industry at Port Bienville Industrial Park in Hancock County, said that her company has been using the ACT Work Keys as a hiring tool for many years and they have found it to be very effective.
“The ACT initiative is a unified effort between industry and community partners to assess skills to close skill gaps so our workforce can compete globally. We are looking forward to begin this process in Hancock County and watch it grow,” said Bill Cork, chief executive officer of Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.
Using the national ACT Work Ready Communities standards, Hancock County leaders and educators will have the ability to use practices and data to identify and improve the skill levels of the local workforce and match individuals to jobs based on their skills.
“Ultimately, as a community, we want to develop a model workforce development program that is driven by the needs of business and industry. This is not something that is going to happen overnight. We will need the support of the entire community to make this happen,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock Chamber.
The county will have two years to become a certified ACT Work Ready Community. To meet this goal, employers are being invited to participate in the program and employees will be encouraged to earn certification through the ACT National Career Readiness program.
Employers are also invited to attend one of the upcoming seminars to obtain information on the advantages of the program: Thursday, March 1 at Port Bienville Training Center; Tuesday, March 20 at Hancock Career Technical Facility; or, Wednesday, April 11 at Pearl River Community College, Hancock Center. Each series will be from 11:45am – 1pm. There is no fee to attend and lunch is provided. To register call 228-467-9231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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