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Gov. Nixon Announces Newton County is Certified Work Ready Commu - KOAM TV 7

Gov. Nixon Announces Newton County is Certified Work Ready Community

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NEOSHO, MISSOURI -

   Community and business leaders in Neosho have a new tool to market the city to industry.

      Newton county is now a certified work ready community.

     Governor Jay Nixon today joined local officials with the announcement that could help create jobs.

“This area is prepared for the economy of the future,” says Governor Jay Nixon as

he cut a ribbon at the Lazy-Boy opportunity center.  The workforce training facility for local companies and for those testing for workplace certifications.

Mike Franks, CEO of the Neosho Area Business and Industry Foundation says, "A key for  us luring industry is the quality of our workforce." 

 Nixon says the facility will, “Make sure that  they have the skills they need to compete and win  in a global economy."

 The governor believes that will come with Newton County earning certified work ready community status. The 17th county in the state to do so.

Gov. Nixon says, "What you want to do is align training so you can get workers to the jobs that are out there. And if folks are applying for a job and they don't have the necessary skills or certifications, that there’s a place they can go to, to get those very, very quickly.”

The  Neosho schools superintendent says being  work  ready  means mostly  a focus at the high school level but there may be changes at the junior high level as well

Superintendent Dan Decker says, “Talking with students about the different careers they want and  looking at what's going to be required by those folks in manufacturing and  beginning that process as early as 7th grade. All of our  high school students go to vocational,  technical  classes at Crowder College,  so I  think that partnership is going to increase." 

Jasen Jones, executive director of the southwest Missouri Workforce Investment Board says, "We have research over the  last six years to show  individuals with the national career ready certificate go to work faster  they stay on the job longer and they earn more overtime."

Jones says Jasper county, the first work ready community in the state,  offers proof the status makes a difference.

 Jones says, "Companies like Heartland  Pet Foods and most recently  Owens Corning  have made investment decisions  in SWMO as a result of  the workforce being ready, available and highly skilled."

Newton county  hopes to land companies in the same way.

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