Chariton County achieves Certified Work Ready Status

March 16, 2016

KEYTESVILLE, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced that Chariton County has earned status as a Missouri Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC).

“Businesses in Chariton County made an impressive showing in support of the CWRC initiative,” said Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “This is a testament to the benefits that businesses recognize from supporting community certification. I give a special thank you to Chariton County businesses that supported this initiative along with my congratulations to everyone who made this happen.”

The announcement of the designation was made at the Chariton County Court House, with many supporters of the CWRC initiative in attendance. Several local companies that utilize the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) in their hiring process were present at the event, including AgriServices, an ag and fertilizer wholesale company.

The NCRC is a work-related skills credential, providing objective documentation of an individual’s skills that is accepted nationwide by many employers.

Business support was above and beyond in Chariton County, where 25—more than double the number of businesses expected—provided letters of support to the cause in this small, very rural county.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the State as one of the leading counties in Missouri—and the nation—to have achieved the status as a Certified Work Ready Community,” said Lowell Newsom who heads up Chariton County's economic development efforts. “On behalf of the Chariton County Certified Work Force Board, the Chariton County Economic Development Board and the participating businesses and communities of the County, we’re thrilled this hard work will help Chariton County continue to be a strong community.”

In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative by American College Testing (ACT). The initiative aligns workforce training programs with the economic development needs of communities; matches appropriate applicants to jobs based on skill level; and strengthens businesses by strengthening the workforce.

In 2013, Jasper County, Missouri was named the first Certified Work Ready Community in the nation. Missouri now has 75 counties that are actively participating in the Certified Work Ready Community initiative and 25 fully certified counties.

Many parties came together to promote and support Chariton County’s efforts to achieve this important certification, which include Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, Chariton County Community Foundation, local officials, Salisbury and Brunswick school districts, Moberly Area Community College, Agri-Services of Brunswick, Regional Missouri Bank, Wheeler Law Firm, the West Central Workforce Investment Board and the local Missouri Job Center.

By participating in ACT's Certified Work Ready Communities initiative, Chariton County is:

  • Helping workers understand what skills are required by employers, and how to prepare themselves for success;
  • Helping businesses effectively communicate their workforce needs to area education and workforce training programs;
  • Providing educators with the tools needed to close the skills gap by establishing career pathways for students with stackable industry-recognized credentials; and
  • Equipping economic development organizations with an on-demand reporting tool to promote the quality of their workforce.

For more information about Missouri Works Training or the Certified Work Ready Community initiative and how to apply for certification, visit


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