COLUMBUS - In February 2016, Cherokee County achieved designation as a Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) through American College Testing (ACT). The county was the first in Kansas to do so and remains one of only three Kansas counties to have done so to date.

CWRC designation established that Cherokee County has a robust, public-private partnership driven approach to link education to workforce development, align to economic development, and match people to jobs. However, it was only the first step in an ongoing process as Certified Work Ready Communities must work to maintain their status.

Earlier this month, Cherokee County received word that we had successfully maintained our CWRC designation. Maintaining CWRC status required additional students and adults to earn the National Career Readiness Certificate, employers to continue their support of the effort, and the completion of a job profile.

"We are very pleased to have maintained our status as a Certified Work Ready Community," said Janet Miller, Cherokee County Economic Development Director. "CWRC designation is a win for everyone involved. Our students and employees can add the National Career Readiness Certificate to their educational credentials and improve their marketability. Our local businesses have a tool to better understand the skills of applicants and employees. Our school districts and colleges can more easily assess whether students' skills match employer needs. And, the county can better demonstrate our quality workforce."

For more information about ACT Certified Work Ready Communities and Cherokee County's status, please visit http://workreadycommunities.org/KS/021 or contact Janet Miller at 620-762-0717.