Prince Edward named Work Ready Community

Published 10:43 am Monday, July 12, 2021

Prince Edward County has been designated as a Certified Work Ready Community (WRC).

The nationally recognized designation by Virginia and American College Testing (ACT) is designed to help the county attract new businesses and jobs in addition to strengthening the skillsets of the region’s high school students, job seekers and incumbent workforce.

Chelsey White

Partners like the DRRC, Dan River Region Collaborative, Prince Edward County Public Schools, South Central Workforce Development Board, Southside Virginia Community College, STEPS, and regional employers supported Prince Edward County’s efforts to achieve the national certification. YakAttack was one of the employers who helped in the certification effort. To become certified, a locality must achieve benchmarks in three areas of performance: high school graduation rate, number of ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC) credentials attained in the locality and number of employers recognizing the NCRC.

The Work Ready Community effort provides a third-party validated, data-driven system for economic developers to talk about the skill level of the region’s workforce. This effort supports the commonwealth’s goal of expanding the number of Virginians who hold industry certifications valuable to employers. Use of the National Career Readiness Certificate demonstrates that Prince Edward County has a qualified and trainable workforce.

 “I would like to extend my congratulations to everyone involved in helping Prince Edward County become one of 15 counties in Virginia that have become certified as a Work Ready Community. This program helps match the counties workforce development efforts to the needs of business and industry” Prince Edward County Administrator Douglas P. Stanley said.

In addition to Prince Edward County, the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Brunswick, Charlotte, Henry, Halifax Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick and Pittsylvania as well as the cities of Danville and Martinsville have been certified as Work Ready Communities.

“We are excited about reaching 100% of our ACT WRC goals toward certification which will help our community stand out to developers during the site selection process,” Chelsey White, director of economic development and tourism for Prince Edward County said. “Additionally, continued participation in this program will assist us in identifying skill gaps and quantify the skill level of our workforce. This data will support educators in building career pathways that will align with the business and industry needs of our local economy.”