‘A great day’ for Hancock County employers’ workforce

February 25, 2019

Hancock County, Mississippi — Hancock County celebrated a valuable milestone Feb. 23 in its quest to become a must-see locale for prospective new businesses and industries.

A great turnout of county leaders, elected officials, businesses, and educators gathered at the Hancock Campus of Pearl River Community College (PRCC) in Waveland, Mississippi, to mark the county’s designation as a gold-certified ACT® Work Ready Community (WRC).

“Today is a great day,” said Bill Cork, CEO of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, which spearheaded the undertaking. “It’s the day we celebrate ‘going gold,” he said. “In order to become Gold-certified as a Work Ready Community, you have to have industry participation, and you have to have assessments at a certain level based on your demographics.”[1] 

The program assesses people interested in transitioning to or growing in their career and tests them in several areas. “They are scored,” Cork explained[2] [3] , "based on what we call the Olympic Rings level of scoring: platinum, gold, silver and bronze[4] .”

"We're only the second county along the Gulf Coast to reach this certification," County Board of Supervisors President Blaine LaFontaine said at the celebration, “and the first in south Mississippi.”

In 2017, the HCPHC partnered with the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce to begin a business retention and expansion survey program. The chamber and HCPHC have interviewed 120 companies in Hancock County, and one of the coinciding issues between both large and small scale companies was workforce.

“We discovered that the best way, and one of the industry-standard ways, to do that was to become ACT® Work Ready Community certified. In less than two years, we’ve tested more than 800 employees. Fourteen percent have scored in the Platinum Level. To give you a comparison, the state of Mississippi, which has tested more than 105,000 people, has only 2 percent who scored platinum. The nation, which has assessed more than 4.5 million people, also had only 2 percent score platinum. So not only do we have an available and abundant workforce ready to go to work, but our workforce is better than everybody else — better than the state and better than the nation.

PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said: “This recognition sends a message to current and future industry partners that Hancock County is dedicated to economic development. Pearl River Community College is honored to be a part of the community and the forward-thinking environment that has been created.”

Video credits to WXXV-25's Jaylon Morris.  Original article here


#Awards, #Community, #Workforce