ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC) empowers states, regions and counties with data, processes and tools that drive economic growth. Participants are leveraging the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) to measure and close the skills gap — and building common frameworks that link, align and match their workforce development efforts.
Total ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificates®
ACT WorkKeys NCRC Levels:
Participating Counties: 505
Employers Supporting: 27,364
Jobs Profiled: 22,236
Work Ready Communities Boot Camp
ACT offers a performance-driven program WRC leadership teams use to initiate, deploy and drive carefully-tailored efforts that grow the number of counties certified as work ready communities.
Counties may engage in the ACT Work Ready Communities program. Any municipality may be accepted into the Boot Camp to build and launch their Work Ready Communities initiative.
More on How to Sign Up
Get the latest news
Sign Up for Work Ready Communities Monthly Updates
Employers can be the fuel to drive successful state and county Work Ready Communities initiatives simply by recognizing the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate®. And in doing so, they will have a more qualified workforce ready to fill their jobs. Learn more about why employers should engage.
By achieving certified ACT's Work Ready Communities status, counties are demonstrating they have a robust workforce development effort aligned to their economic development needs resulting in:
Business and Industry
know exactly what foundational skills they need for a productive workforce - and to easily communicate their needs
understand what skills are required by employers - and how to prepare themselves for success
consistently measure the skills gap in a timely manner at the national, state and local levels
close the skills gap, via tools integrated into career pathways with stackable industry-recognized credentials
developers use an on-demand reporting tool to market the quality of their workforce
What Others Are Saying
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, workforce readiness
was the signature challenge facing economic developers
across the U.S. If anything, the fast but uneven
post-pandemic recovery will bring even greater challenges
on the talent availability front. This new reality illustrates
the value of the ACT Work-Ready Communities initiative
and the underlying data that Work-Ready Communities
provide to prospective employers. By furnishing business
decision-makers with an apples-to-apples comparison
across different labor markets that relies on fundamental,
measurable workplace skills, ACT Work-Ready Communities
is something every local economic development organization
should look at adopting in their area.
Christopher Chung, CEO President and CEO of MEC
"The Mississippi Economic Council appreciates both the Legislature and the Mississippi Department of Education for providing an additional focus on career and technical education. This is another example of the importance of making sure our students have the tools necessary to help them make career decisions that can lead to long-term success right here in Mississippi. The ACT WorkKeys assessment is being used more and more by businesses across the state and provides our students a great pathway to a successful career."
Scott Waller President and CEO of MEC
"Now more than ever, Missouri needs a strong, skilled workforce to move our economy forward. Initiatives like ACT's Work Ready Communities are critical to preparing our future generation for high-skill, high-demand jobs, and we are proud to be leading the nation in this effort."
Mike Parson Missouri Governor
"Having been in site selection for many years, it has always been difficult to ensure my clients that there is available, stable and reliable workforce in a community. However, in
the last few years when I see that a county is ACT Work Ready I know that they are following the steps in planning for the current and future workforce. Therefore, our
tendency at FCG is to look strongly at ACT Work Ready Communities for new site locations. I would encourage all communities to seek that status."
Mr. Deane C. Foote, CEcD President & CEO Foote Consulting Group, LLC
"As a national site selector, one of the few factors that are critical to almost every company and project is workforce. It is imperative for communities to focus on knowing and improving their existing
workforce as well as retaining and attracting high quality talent. ACT Work Ready Communities are setting themselves apart by intentionally developing their local
workforce in support of their existing companies while positioning themselves to attract new companies."
"ACT Work Ready is truly the best workforce development marketing tool I have seen."
Chad Chancellor Co-Founder/CEO The Next Move Group
New Orleans, Louisiana
"Outstanding program that helps business recruit and retain qualified workers. Congrats on the milestone. As a corrorlary would recommend that all counties become work ready certified.
Dennis Donovan Director Global Site Selection Wadley, Donovan, Gutshaw Consulting
"Jonesboro and Craighead County are a great example of what’s right with Arkansas. Becoming an ACT Work Ready Community will make Jonesboro and Craighead County even stronger."
Governor Asa Hutchinson Arkansas
"One of the main reasons that they decided to remain in Pottawatomie County was because of the strong work force and the county’s commitment to workforce readiness through ACT WorkReady program. Pottawatomie County is one of only three counties in the state that is Certified Work Ready."
Robert Weimann Co-Owner, Sarto Countertops
"Being A Work Ready Community Champion allows the ease of hiring the best people, and trust what you hired them to do. It allows me to help match the employees to jobs based on verified skill levels. Finding the candidate who possesses the proper trade skill through the ACT Work Ready Program reduces the overall recruiting, onboarding and training cost. It’s a win-win for all involved."
Tracey Faulkner Director of Human Resources, R-Tech Tool & Machine, Inc.
How Work Ready Communities are Winning the Growth Game
This website reports the ACT® WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates earned at the county and state level and the progress being made by those participating states and counties in the ACT Work Ready Community initiative. This site only represents data stored in the ACT RegiSTAR™ system, a web-based reporting and management tool for ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificates.
State and national ACT WorkKeys NCRC data runs from January 2006 through
May 31, 2021 , while county-level data is starting from January 2012. State job profile data runs from January 2007 through
May 31, 2021 , while national job profile data reaches back to 1993. Again, please note that county-level ACT WorkKeys NCRC data collection began in January 2012 for WorkKeys Internet Version, and in July 2012 for pencil and paper assessments. State and national certificate totals include historical data prior to 2012.
WorkKeys® assessments are used across the nation, and many states have built their own Career Readiness Certificates based upon WorkKeys assessment results. You will find an asterisk denoting those states. This website will continue to evolve as the first two rounds of participating states give us feedback on what they would like to see -- and based on your feedback, as well.
Please contact us if you have comments, questions or would like to receive more information.