Nearly all criteria has been met for Livingston County to become a Certified Work Ready Community; however, a push is on for 12 more Livingston County residents to step forward to help complete the process by the July deadline.

 Nearly all criteria has been met for Livingston County to become a Certified Work Ready Community; however, a push is on for 12 more Livingston County residents to step forward to help complete the process by the July deadline. Matt Trussell, director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center in Chillicothe, said six more people who are considered to be transitioning within the workforce and six more individuals who emerging in the workforce are being sought to participate. Emerging Workforce individuals could include students or recent high school and college graduates, age 18 years of age and older. Transition ing individuals would be those who are unemployed. Individuals who recently retired, have been laid off or are currently between jobs, could qualify for the transition ing category. The Certified Work Ready Community program is part of a state initiative for each county to promote growth, and attract and retain businesses within those counties. Each county must meet certain goals showing that a skilled workforce exists. Participants would take a WorkKeys Test (free of charge), through the Missouri Career Center. The test lasts around three hours and covers areas of reading, math and locating information. The benefit for those participating is that the individuals will be able to include on their resumes that they have earned a WorkKeys Certificate. “If someone has this, it doesn’t guarantee them a job, but gives them a leg up for a potential employer,” Trussell said. “Potential employers can see what potential employees are certified in.” The Work Ready Community certification is a fairly new program. If successfully completed, Livingston County could be among the first 50 counties in the country to become certified. Several Missouri counties are already certified. Grundy County also is participating in this initiative and, at this time, is closer to meeting the goal than Livingston County. “They are ahead of us and we would like to join them in becoming certified,” Trussell said. Criteria for other population categories in Livingston County – members of the current workforce and businesses – have been met. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Missouri Career Center at 646-0671.