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Webster County Awarded for Workforce Readiness


“You’re off to great places; today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way”.

Dr. Suess’ book Oh The Places You Go is a popular gift given to high school graduates, encouraging them on whatever path they take. Those paths in life could include college or the ever-growing workforce. Both of which require a lot of preparation, tests, and certifications. It can feel intimidating doing all of this alone, but luckily the students of Webster County are not alone. With the help of leaders in the community, not only are graduates “work ready”, but now the county is too.

On July 12, Webster County was awarded the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate. The award is given to counties with a high workforce readiness level. It’s important to employers as some use the assessment results during the hiring process. Those employers include Dollar Tree, Price Cutter, Burrell Behavioral Health, and Russell Cellular Inc.
“The program has value in two different directions. One, the county being a participant is a signal to potential employers, there are people here willing, able, and have the skills that would bring value to their businesses,” commented Webster County Clerk Stan Whitehurst.
“The other angle is what Mr. Hurst saw in the program. Taking this test is a benefit to the individual too. They can demonstrate that they have the skills which give them a leg up when they go out to seek a career.”

These same thoughts were echoed by the CEO of GRO Marshfield Duane Lavery, who adds, “It’s a great honor for not only Mr. Hurst and his hard work but also Marshfield in general.”

Craig Hurst, an English Teacher in Marshfield, has been working with students for roughly four years, preparing them for the next steps in their life. While higher education is essential, all three gentlemen acknowledge that not everyone is interested or is a right fit for college. Hurst encourages young adults that entering the workforce after high school is a great alternative and the test can be the first step.

“The test identifies an individual readiness for the workforce. I’ve had some students who wouldn’t be considered high achievers score highly on the test,” shared Hurst.

This certificate also shows that Webster County is committed to answering the call as the workforce grows.


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