Mexico looks to improve economic future

2 years 1 week 2 days ago August 18, 2014 Aug 18, 2014 Monday, August 18 2014 Monday, August 18, 2014 11:18:00 AM CDT in News
By: Beth Anne Carroll, KOMU 8 Reporter

MEXICO- Audrain County recently received designation as a work ready community in progress, a designation Mexico plans to use to continue the growth of its local economy.

The county was one of four to apply for the designation earlier this year. The program allows communities to give certification tests to members of the community to attract new businesses and help citizens get better jobs.

"We were one of four communities that submitted an application that was chosen in this latest application process to work toward being a certified work ready community, which allows us as a community, as our businesses, as our educational interest to allow a baseline for those businesses to be able to test their employees or the school to test their kids coming out," Mexico's Assistant City Manager of Economic Development Russell Runge said. "So they have that baseline to be able to say we are educated in this matter, not so much through ACT type of testing but more of a workforce ready type of education."

The certification test features reading and math skills as well as tests the students' ability to locate information. Job seekers can put the certification on their resumes, which is meant to help set them apart in the job application process and help employers find the right candidate for their jobs.

"It's a program for job seekers, to give them some credentials so they can go out and have better shot at getting a job. And then for businesses it's a program that helps them narrow down qualified candidates," said Bernie Andrews, the Executive Vice President of REDI in Columbia.

Students and employees who pass the test get the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). The Missouri Career Center in Columbia offers to test to anyone in the state.

Once a county earns in progress designation, there are certain goals the county must meet within two years to become a certified work ready community. Counties must get a certain number of emerging workers, or students, to take the test. Counties must also get a certain number of transitional workers to take the test. Transitional workers are current employees looking for new jobs and students enrolled in adult education programs. The county must also attract a certain number of businesses to sign up as employer partners to recognize the certification and support the initiative.

Currently, Audrain County has reached 18 percent of its set goals. The county needs a total of 238 employees to take the test and 34 employers to support the program. The county must meet all of the goals by July 2016. 

Boone County already has in progress designation and Andrews said getting business support is the most important part of the program's success.

"That's the key to getting the program to work, in my opinion. To encourage someone to take the test, there has to be an opportunity for a job interview and eventually a job down the road in order to get them to take the test," Andrews said.

Runge said the designation is especially important in improving education to prepare students to join the workforce.

"We see it as something that will be beneficial for the businesses because there are education skill levels that need to be obtained. We need to know about it, the school system needs to know about it, the certified work ready community program does allow those individuals taking the test then to be able to educate themselves further through computer classes and different classes that are offered throughout the area which will then allow them to have better jobs and better opportunities for them as well in the future," Runge said.

Moving forward, Runge said the Mexico must focus on spreading the word to get more people to take the test and recruit more business to support the program. If the city succeeds in reaching these goals, he said more businesses will choose Mexico as a location and more residents will be able to join the workforce.

The designation will set Audrain county, as well as other certified communities, apart because of the rarity of full certification. Andrews said he estimates only about 10 communities nationwide have the certified work ready community designation, giving those communities a national spotlight for site selectors and companies looking to expand or relocate into areas with qualified workforces.

For more information on the work ready community progress and to see where communities stand, visit the program's website.

 

More News

Grid
List
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - There is a search underway for the occupants of a boat that overturned in the... More >>
40 minutes ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 10:57:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of several protesters charged after disruptions at a Kansas City rally for Republican presidential... More >>
4 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 7:29:49 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – iPhone and iPad users beware: Apple has announced a new security update after finding out hackers have taken... More >>
5 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 6:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people will come together Saturday at the annual Mid-Missouri PrideFest, but this year's celebration will be... More >>
6 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Special Administrative Board has unanimously approved up to $1 million to eliminate lead contamination after... More >>
6 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 5:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A recently released national report shows some Columbia entrepreneurs are having a lot of success. Inc. Magazine,... More >>
7 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at MU Sinclair School of Nursing and College of Engineering have come up with a way to... More >>
7 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:52:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools Board of Education agreed Thursday on a 57-cent property tax increase, following voter approval earlier... More >>
8 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:31:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Green BEAN Delivery, which is the largest online natural and organic grocery delivery service in the Midwest, donated... More >>
8 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 3:15:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man is dead after allegedly punching a man in a wheelchair — only... More >>
10 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 1:31:11 PM CDT in News
PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for scalding a 2-year-old... More >>
10 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 1:21:20 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A recently retired Springfield teacher has been charged with child molestation. The Springfield News-Leader reported... More >>
13 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 10:36:51 AM CDT in News
HAZELWOOD, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol was investigating a crash that left a suburban St. Louis police... More >>
14 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 9:04:50 AM CDT in News
WARRENSBURG (AP) — Authorities are investigating a bank robbery in Warrensburg. Police said in a news release that... More >>
15 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 7:45:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis woman who reportedly stabbed herself with a pen after her arrest for... More >>
16 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 7:37:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A former employee of a bank in southwestern Missouri's Aurora has been ordered to spend a year... More >>
17 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 6:35:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis suburb's police chief and top commander are on paid suspensions after complaints about... More >>
17 hours ago August 26, 2016 Aug 26, 2016 Friday, August 26 2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 6:23:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Central Chapter of Empower Missouri and guests gathered to talk about why it is in everybody's... More >>
1 day ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:50:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
12am 75°
1am 74°
2am 73°
3am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
11:30p
Community
12:00a
Community
12:30a
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld