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Work Hard – Work Smart Receives $241,000 Wagner - Peyser Grant
Work Hard – Work Smart, a certifying work-readiness initiative of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has been awarded $241,000 Wagner-Peyser Grant.
Work Hard – Work Smart is collaboration between the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Solutions – North Texas, NORTEX Regional Planning Commission, Vernon College, Wichita County, Wichita Falls ISD, Burkburnett ISD, Iowa Park CISD, City View ISD, Electra ISD and Vernon ISD. The grant supports the goal of helping graduating seniors, the unemployed and the underemployed in Wichita County to obtain the WorkKeys’ National Career Readiness Certificate.
“Wichita Falls has a strong work history and an unmatched work ethic. Through this grant, Work Hard – Work Smart will be able to match a person’s skills and their strengths to the jobs in health care, business, hospitality and advanced manufacturing in ways that allow us to keep and attract jobs to North Texas,” said Michael Paris, Vice President for Workforce Development for the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber Board and many other county leaders know that the future for economic growth in North Texas is a skilled, talented, and proficient workforce which possesses a strong work ethic. The Work Hard – Work Smart collaboration is to highlight the work-ready skills in order to attract jobs to North Texas.”
The National Career Readiness Certificate assesses three different areas to determine work-readiness:
The Wagner-Peyser grant will provide assessment fees for Wichita County residents who are out of work or who are earning substandard wages. Work Hard – Work Smart will provide the resources to help 85% of high school graduates, 35% of the unemployed and 3% of the underemployed in Wichita County to possess the National Career Readiness Certificate. Once these goals are realized, the Chamber will promote Wichita County as the first “work-ready”
“Being located in rural Texas and trying to bring jobs to our area, the Wichita Falls region competes with the larger metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. How do we make ourselves different? What distinguishes us from Longview, Midland, Odessa, Abilene, Lawton (OK) or Ardmore (OK)? These areas produce very similar workforce statistics. We have the opportunity to differentiate ourselves in the way we promote our workforce. Our goal is to promote 10% of our current labor force in Wichita County as possessing the National Career Readiness Certificate, “said Paris.
The grant will fund a program coordinator and clerk who will be located at Vernon College. The management of the program will be provided by the Wichita Falls Chamber with NORTEX working as the fiscal agent. Workforce Solutions – North Texas will provide training and support.
For more information, please visit http://www.workhardworksmart.net where North Texas businesses and residents may use the National Career Readiness Certificate to find quality workers and open doors for better job prospects. To learn more about the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and Industry, go to http://www.wichitafallscommerce.com
About Work Hard – Work Smart:
Work Hard – Work Smart is about connecting job seekers and employers in Wichita and surrounding counties through the National Career Readiness Certificate for business retention and business attraction.
“The indispensable asset in a knowledge economy is smart people.” - Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos
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Work Hard - Work Smart is where North Texas businesses and residents may use the National Career Readiness Certificate to find quality workers and open doors for better job prospects.