Beginning in the fall of 2014, under the leadership of each County’s Mayor, and Margaret Prater, Vice President for Workforce Development for the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board, each county in the region formed workforce development committees to launch the ACT® Work Ready Communities initiative, a workforce system designed to assist sites and regions in developing their workforce pipeline to provide skilled workers for employers, via job profiling and the National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC).

Two counties, Dyer and Lake, were recognized at the 2015 ACT® Workforce Symposium for completing all of their goals and achieving Certified Work Ready Communities status. This year, the counties of Benton, Crockett, Henry, Lauderdale, and Obion will receive certification at the 2016 ACT® Workforce Symposium in Nashville, TN.

The initiative, supported by the staff of the region’s American Job Centers, high schools, and local employers, and funded by the Delta Regional Authority, United States Department of Agriculture, and TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development, has resulted in area residents earning over 8,000 National Career Readiness Certificates™ (NCRCs) towards certification goals in the eight counties attaining certification as ACT® Work Ready Communities:

  • Benton County, Mayor Barry Barnett: 486 NCRCs Earned
  • Crockett County, Mayor Gary Reasons: 396 NCRCs Earned
  • Dyer County, Mayor Chris Young: 2,010 NCRCs Earned
  • Henry County, Mayor Brent Greer: 782 NCRCs Earned
  • Lake County, Mayor Denny Johnson: 339 NCRCs Earned
  • Lauderdale County, Mayor Maurice Gaines: 916 NCRCs Earned
  • Obion County, Mayor Bennie McGuire: 1,137 NCRCs Earned

Gibson County, under the leadership of Mayor Tom Witherspoon, has since reached 100% of its goals, earning 1,994 NCRCs, and will be recognized at the 2017 Symposium. The remaining counties in the region anticipate achieving certification in the coming months, with Carroll County having met 93% of their goals, Tipton County having met 95% of their goals, and Weakley County having met 79% of their goals