2 Oct 2019

Community News

WHAT:  A strategic gathering of workforce development stakeholders and business and industry leaders to announce a best-practice framework for community-wide implementation of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). The collaborative effort will make Dodge County the second Nebraska county (after Douglas County certified in 2018) to be named an ACT certified Work Ready Community – characterized by a sustainable infrastructure to close skills gaps. Further advantages, such as linking education and workforce development, achieving alignment to economic development and matching people to job opportunities, are also expected outcomes of the initiative.
WHEN: Friday, October 4, 2019; 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Hansen-Mueller (805 South Union Street, Fremont, NE
WHY: For City and County leadership and their non-profit partners to officially introduce the kickoff of this workforce development initiative and celebrate the businesses who are some of the first signers of support for Dodge County becoming designated as a Work Ready Community.
WHO WE ARE: Greater Fremont Development Council, Fremont Public Schools, Metropolitan Community College, City of Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska Department of Labor and Fremont Area Chamber.
For Media Inquiries: Contact Barb Pierce, Greater Fremont Development Council; 402-753-8126
or Tara Lea, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce; 402-721-2641
Additional information:
The event will include appetizers and drinks, a quick program and recognition of 10+ BUSINESSES who have signed on to the initiative for they see the value in having a qualified workforce through the use of WorkKeys and National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC)  Participants are leveraging the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) to measure and close the skills gap by building common frameworks that link, align and match their workforce development efforts. 
The purpose of the initiative is for business and education to come together using a common tool called the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to improve the skills and work readiness of our emerging, existing and transitioning workforce.  The certificate is an assessment tool that is used to align a jobseekers skills with job positions.
Businesses like it because:
  • It provides a credential for students to graduate with that is recognized by employers as having value
  • It provides a tool for students to be connected to positions that fit them.  
  • It also provides WorkKeys curriculum helping students improve their scores and thus have a higher earning potential.
Educators like it because
  • It provides an efficient, reliable way to identify skilled job candidates.
  • It can be used as an assessment tool for existing employees seeking promotion. 
  • The use of NCRC has been shown to decrease employee turnover.
  • It encourages employee promotion, potentially increasing wages and allowing for a better standard of living, including a projected uptick in discretionary income to spend at local restaurants, hairdressers, mechanics and more.
Communities like it because
  • The initiative brings employers and educators to the table to collaborate.
  • It provides a platform for gathering data that allows for quality of workforce to be proven – making  Fremont a desirable location to land their future business.
  • Lowers turnover for companies making them more profitable and able to expand in the community which in turn builds a strong economic base of qualified long term employees.

This initiative is a way of bringing businesses, educators and workforce services together to systematize a process that will aid companies in hiring qualified workforce to the positions that fit them best.  


“It’s actually the process - meeting goals and building a sustainable system with all the partners-that is the real magic for a community,” says GFDC existing business director, Barb Pierce.

“Our group of partners have been working together to educate and reach out to businesses about this initiative.  Every conversation is similar, “Do something. Do it fast.  Do it together. And make it sustainable.  This is a proven model that can help us improve and grow the pie of qualified applicants for both existing and future businesses.” Barb Pierce, GFDC

“It not hard to see that workforce is a major issue throughout our community.  We are excited to work together with GFDC, the City of Fremont and a number of local businesses to take the first steps to ensure we are matching employees with the appropriate skills to the employers in our county.” said Tara Lea, Executive Director with the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce.

Partners SUPPORTING the Work Ready Community (WRC) initiative are listed on page 1.  Individuals associated with the organization and serving on the WRC steering committee are below:

Metro Community College:  Tammy Green
Greater Fremont Development Council:  Garry Clark, Barb Pierce, Kelly Gentrup
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce:  Tara Lea
Nebraska Department of Labor:  Heidi Young
Fremont Public School: Mark Williams, Mark Shepard, Brad Dahl
City of Fremont:  Lottie Mitchell