Barton County becomes designated Work Ready Community

Barton County Memorial Hospital C.E.O. Wendy Duval says being designated a Work Ready Community gives the county a big advantage.
“The ability to bring additional businesses into the community,” said Wendy Duval, Barton County Memorial Hospital.
At first glance, that might not seem like something that could benefit a hospital. She says it will pay dividends when it comes time to recruit new talent.
“If we have nurses that are, that want to come in and have a job, we need a job for their spouses often times,” said Duval.
Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing says it’s businesses like Barton County Memorial and others that have played a big role in helping to get this designation.
“The leadership in the community has to be such where they recognize that workforce skills is the key component of economic development in today’s economy, and it is. And they’ve recognized that,” said Mike Downing, Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Downing says it won’t just be the businesses that benefit from this designation.
“For the worker or the job seeker, it better documents their skills to make them more marketable,” said Downing. 
Which can help bring more jobs to town.
“For the community, it documents and sells the availability of a skilled workforce,” Downing explained.
Duval says it also sends a strong message to the next generation.
“They can continue education on, and be able to come back home if that’s where they want to be,” said Duval. 
Along with Barton County, Jasper, Newton, Vernon, Lawrence and Barry counties in Southwest Missouri are also certified as “Work Ready.”

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