Rowan County, North Carolina has proudly achieved the prestigious designation of an ACT® Work Ready Community (ACT® WRC). The Rowan Economic Development Council (EDC) spearheaded this initiative, which has positioned Rowan County as a leading community in workforce development. The achievement will be officially recognized and celebrated at the upcoming ACT Workforce Summit, scheduled to be held in Nashville, TN from October 4 to 6, 2023.

ACT® WRC is a national workforce development initiative designed to empower communities, regions, and states with the tools and framework necessary to build a skilled and adaptable workforce. By earning this certification, Rowan County has demonstrated its commitment to equipping its workforce with the essential skills required by employers.

Rod Crider, President of the Rowan EDC, expressed his enthusiasm for the county’s achievement, stating, “We are thrilled to announce that Rowan County has become an ACT Work Ready Community. This accomplishment is a testament to the collaboration and dedication of our community stakeholders, education partners, and local businesses who recognize the importance of a skilled and qualified workforce. By achieving this certification, we are positioning Rowan County as a prime location for businesses seeking a well-prepared workforce.”

“Congratulations to Rowan for becoming an ACT Work Ready Community and joining a growing list of counties dedicated to building a robust workforce,” said ACT® Regional Manager of Workforce Initiatives, Tony Garife. “The efforts of the county leadership to achieve WRC certification will provide the community with a tremendous economic development advantage and help it stand out for its workforce development efforts.”

The journey towards becoming an ACT® WRC began on December 5, 2019, when Rowan County officially committed to meeting the program’s rigorous criteria. To begin the certification process, Rowan leaders attended the ACT Work Ready Communities Boot Camp, an executive leadership and training program designed and led by ACT to initiate, deploy, and drive carefully tailored efforts to improve the county’s work readiness. Leaders met with local employers, policymakers, educators, and economic developers to establish goals and build a sustainable WRC model to fit community needs. Through a concerted effort and unwavering commitment, Rowan County successfully met 100% of its goals on June 5, 2023, demonstrating the community’s exceptional dedication to workforce development.

As an ACT® WRC, Rowan County offers numerous benefits to employers and job seekers alike. By utilizing ACT® WorkKeys® assessments, the community can accurately measure and recognize the foundational skills necessary for workplace success. These assessments assist employers in making informed hiring decisions, matching job seekers with appropriate positions, and aligning workforce training programs to meet industry demands.

Through the ACT® WRC program, Rowan County is better equipped to attract new businesses, support existing industries, and enhance economic growth. The certification serves as a powerful tool for economic developers and employers, showcasing the county’s commitment to workforce development and its ability to provide a skilled and adaptable workforce.

For more information on the ACT® WRC initiative and what it means for Rowan County, please visit the Rowan EDC website here.