Cherokee County has become the first county in the State of Kansas to be an ACT Certified Work Ready Community. The credential certifies essential skills needed for workplace success.
“They have taken ACT work keys in three areas in applied math, reading for information and locating information,” said Janet Miller, Cherokee County Economic Development Director.
Miller says the certification allows her to prove individuals in her community meet certain qualifications.
“Traditionally, economic developers we’re able to say, ‘well, we have hard working people.’ That’s not enough in today’s environment. We want to be able to prove it and this is a way to do that,” said Miller.
Employers like Crossland says they look for people with the certificate during their hiring process.
“We’ve been using this A.C.T Work Readiness Exam as an entry requirement into our training programs for about a year and a half now,” said Nathan Kubicek, Crossland Academy Education Department.
Kubicek says the certification lets him know the job applicant is qualified.
“It lets us now where a candidate or trainee stores before they even come through the door. So we can kind of, it helps us customize their training and their learning plan,” said Kubicek.
Employers say they’ve had a lower turn over rate when hiring ACT certified individuals, which has saved their company money.
“Those people that are more likely that have that, we know have that ability to succeed and it’s going to give them a better, it’s going to give us and them a better shot at longevity with the company,” Kubicek explained.
Kubicek says his company pays more for those with the credential.
“We’re looking at the N.C.C.R credential, we’re looking at the work readiness, we’re looking at OSHATEN and each one of those that they bring with them is going to earn them 50 cents to a dollar an hour more starting base pay,” said Kubicek.
Those interested in becoming ACT certified can take the test at the Coffeyville Technical College, the Columbus Technical campus or any Kansas Workforce Testing Center.