Sangamon County working to be state's first Certified Work Ready Community
Through its innovative “Work Ready Sangamon" program, Sangamon County announced recently that it may soon become Illinois’ first jurisdiction to achieve Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status in affiliation with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber is working toward this goal through ACT — most widely known for its college admissions testing — by aligning students’ credentials with requirements for the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), a “portable” credential that helps prospective employers determine applicants’ readiness and qualifications.
Counties participating in CWRC aim to have their emerging, unemployed and current workers take a series of tests to obtain the NCRC credential. Sangamon County was among eight U.S. counties selected in the past year to achieve this recognition.
“Earning the NCRC demonstrates your willingness and ability to prove the skills important to today’s workforce,” the chamber said on its website. “The NCRC gives you a competitive edge, whether you are applying for a job or working toward a promotion.”
The Chamber’s Q5 Workforce and Education Council — the “Q5” designation stands for Quantum Growth Partnership — is an economic development alliance uniting public, private and nonprofit stakeholders in an effort to grow Sangamon County through job creation and retention, along with strategic investment.
Q5 is now entering the last year of its second five-year cycle of a long-term plan to ensure Sangamon’s prosperity, supported by civic and business leaders and focused on economic and workforce expansion, urban revitalization, increased diversity and transformational leadership.