Workforce & Economic Development

How is Work Ready Communities useful for economic development?

The ability to quantify and qualify the skill level of your workforce is a powerful tool in any economic developer’s bag. For the first time ever, Washington state is making that possible with real-time workforce skill data.

Through this initiative, certifications earned are reported at the county level – these include workforce demographics. This new system creates a universally accepted inventory of area workforce assets and skills that communities can advertise to attract new businesses and investors. The county level data helps economic development authorities target their resources and address specific local opportunities for workforce engagement and improvement.

In short, Certified Work Ready Communities enable existing business and industry to thrive and creates an attractive environment for new business investment.

Benefits

  • Improved high school graduation rates
  • Helps existing companies grow and add new jobs
  • New business and investment attraction
  • Competitive advantage over other areas
  • Improved focus on local business climate
  • Stronger regional and cross-sector collaboration

By framing workforce readiness in economic development terms, Washington’s Work Ready Communities program brings together Employment (employers; workforce system), Education (all levels of schools systems), and Economic Development (local & regional development organizations; all levels of government) in successful and powerful coalitions. The shared and compelling goal of a certified workforce unites all players.

When will data showcasing the communities’ workforce be available?

Washington state’s specific county data regarding earned National Career Readiness Certificates is available on the ACT Work Ready Communities website. This information is updated monthly.

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