Hancock County is participating in a comprehensive workforce program to develop a “pipeline” of skilled workers who meet the needs of local businesses and industries.
Hancock County is among the newest to join the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative which is used throughout the nation to develop a more productive workforce and encourage economic growth.
The ACT initiative “is a unified effort between industry and community partners to assess skills to close skill gaps so our workforce can compete globally. We are looking forward to begin this process in Hancock County and watch it grow,” said Bill Cork, chief executive officer of Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.
The ACT announcement was made during the Hancock Chamber’s Annual Breakfast. County officials and leaders are asking for the support of the business community to improve and enhance the employee base.
“Ultimately, as a community we want to develop a model workforce development program that is driven by the needs of business and industry. This is not something that is going to happen overnight. We will need the support of the entire community to make this happen,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock Chamber.
Using the national ACT Work Ready Communities standards, Hancock County leaders will have the ability to identify and improve the skill levels of the local workforce and match individuals to jobs based on their skills.
The county will have two years to become a certified ACT Work Ready Community through the nonprofit ACT educational organization.
Employers will be asked to support and participate in the program and employees will be encouraged to earn certification through the ACT National Career Readiness program.
Besides employers and workers, the program involves educators and economic developers using practices and data to close the skills gap and help market the local workforce. County representatives will take part in an executive leadership and training program through the ACT Work Ready Communities Academy.