MIDC working with USD 418 and County for ACT WorkReady Community certification

By Nick Gosnell
January 05, 2015

McPherson Industrial Development Company Executive Director Brad Eilts spoke to the Board of McPherson County Commissioners on Monday regarding MIDC's effort to get McPherson County certified as an ACT WorkReady Community.

McPherson USD 418 is going to require at least a SIlver Level certification on the ACT WorkKeys assessment for graduation beginning with the class of 2016.

WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system measuring "real-world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success.  

The three skills assesments given by USD 418 are:

Applied Mathematics

Reading for Information

Locating Information

Those three assessments are then added together to produce a score that corresponds to a level of WorkReady certification.

There are four levels:

1. Platinum

2. Gold

3. Silver

4. Bronze

Both Johns Manville and NCRA are now requiring at least a Silver level of WorkKeys assesment performance for new applicants.

Eilts touted the program as another way for McPherson and McPherson County to separate itself from competition when attempting to retain current employers and when attempting to entice new employers to the area.

Eilts gave a hypothetical example, "The jobs that you are looking for require this aptitude, this academic aptitude, say its a silver level requirement, which covers 70 percent of all the jobs nationally."

Eilts would like the community to be able to give a specific number of those who have scored at that aptitude in an effort to show current and potential employers a quantifiable number of people within the workforce available to do work at an employer.

What he asked for from the McPherson County Commission was a signed letter of support for the pursuit of the WorkReady Community certification. He received that letter on Monday.