Bowie County announced today, they have engaged in the process to become a certified ACTWork Ready Community.

According to a press release, this practice demonstrates their commitment to developing a strong workforce pipeline, desirable to employers, economic developers, and current and future citizens of the county. Earlier this year, Miller County began the process and now Bowie County is on board to work with the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce and Miller County to enhance our workforce in the Texarkana region.

“Bowie County is excited to work with the Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce and Miller County to become a certified ACT Work Ready Community.  This is a regional effort to develop a talent pipeline for our employers, and Bowie County is excited to support this initiative. The ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT WorkKeys NCRC) is the basis for industry-driven efforts that link education, workforce, and economic development,” said Judge Bobby Howell, Bowie County Judge.

To begin the ACT WRC process, community leaders attended the ACT Work Ready Communities Boot Camp, an executive leadership and training program designed and led by ACT to initiate, deploy, and drive carefully tailored efforts to improve the county’s work readiness. Those attending were Jennifer Harland, chairman of the board of directors, Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce, Randy Reed, executive director, Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, Bart Spivey, program manager Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, and Robbin Bass, business retention and expansion director, Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce. Upon completion of the training, leaders met with local employers, policymakers, educators, and economic developers to reach established goals and build a sustainable WRC model to fit community needs.

“The ACT Work Ready Communities initiative empowers states, regions, and counties with data, processes, and tools that drive economic growth by identifying skills gaps and quantifying the skill level of their workforce. Participants leverage the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate® to measure and close skills gaps and build common frameworks that link, align, and match their workforce development efforts,” said Bass.

Congratulations to Bowie County for joining this initiative, and a growing list of counties in Arkansas and Texas dedicated to building a strong and resilient workforce,” said Rob Sitterley, president, and CEO of AR-TX REDI. “The determination of Miller and Bowie Counties and the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce leadership to engage in this process demonstrates active partnerships between all stakeholders in the community. This initiative will move our region forward and provide both Miller and Bowie Counties with an economic development advantage, helping them stand out nationally for their workforce development efforts.”

For more information on this initiative, go to workreadycommunities.org, and view ACT’s workforce solutions at act.org/workforce.  You may also contact Robbin Bass, director of business retention and expansion with the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce, rbass@texarkana.org

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