The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Hawkeye Community College and Iowa Workforce Development are partnering to host Skilled Iowa Testing Month for Cedar Valley employers.
Last November, Governor Terry Branstad visited Waterloo and designated the Cedar Valley as the first Skilled Iowa region in the state. Since that time, the number of employers who have signed letters of commitment supporting the program has risen to over 520 across the region. This means that over 29% of Cedar Valley employees are currently working in a Skilled Iowa firm.
After signing the Skilled Iowa commitment form, employers are eligible for an array of complimentary services including access to National Career Readiness Certification testing for their employees at no cost. This exam, tests an individual’s skill levels in applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information. Hawkeye Community College, a partner and supporter of the Skilled Iowa program, has contributed several of their locations as testing sites including the main, Independence, and Waverly campuses and the MLK and Cedar Falls centers. Additionally, Skilled Iowa employers can send individuals to the Hawkeye Community College IowaWORKS Center on University Avenue or they can contact anyone on the IowaWORKS Business Services team to get access to a mobile lab to visit their facility.
As further incentive to take part in these services, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is encouraging our investors to test at least two individuals in the month of October, declaring it “Skilled Iowa Testing Month.” This push, aimed at increasing the data available concerning the skills of our area workforce, will help local economic developers market our community and employers plan for future hiring needs.
“Skilled Iowa is another tool Cedar Valley businesses can utilize in their efforts to grow and sustain their workforce,” commented Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber, “Talent is a key factor in a business’ ability to grow and our role is to provide solutions to recruiting and retaining a talented workforce to meet their needs. NCRC certifications, especially for our employers with Baby Boomer retirements and succession planned in the near future, can be a great resource for workforce development planning.”
An added benefit to the test takers is a chance to win a gift certificate, valued at $50, to any member-investor business of any Chamber in the Cedar Valley region for any individual who earns a “Platinum Certification” on their NCRC exam.
Employers and job seekers can contact the Hawkeye Community College IowaWORKS office for questions about the NCRC exam and the testing times available to earn an NCRC certificate by calling 319-291-2546.