City Council approved Hampton’s participation in the ACT Certified Work Ready Initiative, a national effort that focuses on building the local workforce through community-based economic development.
Pamela Croom, workforce development coordinator in the city’s Economic Development Department, said becoming a “work ready” community means the city is constructing an ‘eco-system’ that will:
Help individuals understand the skills that are required by employers – and how to prepare themselves for success.
Help policy makers, community leaders and educators measure and close skill gaps in the system and build career pathways that help both individuals and businesses thrive.
Help economic developers use an on-demand reporting tool that quantifies the skill level of the local workforce.Under the new initiative, individuals can get industry-recognized credentials – a National Career Readiness Certificate, for example – based on their workforce skills. The new initiative will also give Hampton access to a large and robust occupational profiles database, and identify essential skills and skill levels needed locally for hiring and training.
ACT is a non-profit organization “dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success,” according to its website. Nationwide, nearly half of all states have at least one “work ready” community and more than 18,500 employers recognize the National Career Readiness Certificate. Go online to learn more about Work Ready Communities.
The city’s partners in the new initiative include the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, Thomas Nelson Community College, Hampton City Schools and the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.