Cooper, Howard, monroe, and Randoph Counties are working toward state recognition as a Certified Work Ready Community. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Moberly Area Economic Development Vice-President David Gaines:

David Gaines

Press Release from MAEDC

Moberly, MO. – In an announcement earlier this week by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Cooper, Howard, Monroe and Randolph Counties are the latest counties to join the ranks in Missouri in working toward becoming a Certified Work Ready Community.

“We are very pleased to have our efforts to improve our workforce receive this recognition,” said Corey Mehaffy, President of Moberly Area Economic Development. “Our partnership has aided us in moving in this direction.”

The four-county non-profit regional economic development team has been the driven force behind having the region included in the Certified Work Ready Community program. Cooper, Howard, Monroe and Randolph Counties which are also partners in the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation are being named a Certified Work Ready Community – In Progress.

“Having the ability to prove that we have a quality workforce is very important to business,” said David Gaines, Vice-President of Moberly Area Economic Development. “Having all four counties in our region moving together towards becoming a Certified Work Ready Community is very important to the region’s economic future.”

“Businesses demand a talented and well-trained workforce,” said Mike Downing, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED). “Applying for this designation is evidence of the counties’ commitment to reaching education, workforce, and economic development goals that make their communities a desirable place for companies looking to expand or relocate.”

Earning Certified Work Ready Community status assures that local workforces have the talent necessary to staff existing jobs and master innovative technologies jobs of the future will require. Each designated community must gather local support and commitment and apply for the Work Ready Community designation.

Developed by ACT, which is known for its college admission tests and workforce training programs, the designation is conferred by the Missouri Workforce Investment Board (MoWIB) and is based on criteria established by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) and ACT. Other states participating in the program include Michigan North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Utah and Wyoming.

“We were able to construct a partnership in the four-county region of education, local government, business, and economic development to move this program forward,” said Mehaffy. “This partnership is very important in developing the skills that will be in demand by employers in the future.”

Businesses interested in learning how the Certified Work Ready program will benefit them should contact Moberly Area Economic Development at 660-263-8811 to learn how they can benefit from. Individuals interested in learning how they can achieve their National Career Readiness Certificate through the program can also contact Moberly Area Economic Development of visit their local Missouri Career Center for more details.