Rush County selected for ACT Certified Work Ready Community Academy

Rush County announces its participation in ACT’s Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC), a national workforce development initiative designed to assist counties in developing their workforce pipeline to provide skilled workers for employers. The Rush County Economic & Community Development Corporation (ECDC) recently received word of acceptance into the initial county Academy, an executive leadership and training program that will be held October 21 -22 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The CWRC initiative provides a framework for certifying counties as “Work Ready”. ACT awards this certification when counties achieve percentage goals of individuals in the workforce earning a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and businesses recognizing and preferring the NCRC. This standardized workforce skill credential is earned by taking and scoring a certain level on the ACT WorkKeys test. These certificates help assure employers that the people hired or advanced will have foundational skills to succeed. The certificates also act like passports, regardless of where an individual lives or moves, the certificates testify to work readiness.

“One of the first questions being asked by new companies searching for land or buildings is ‘what’s your local workforce like?’ Being able to advertise the fact that Rush County has a certain percentage of its workforce that has earned the NCRC will be a huge advantage and is a great economic development tool, said John McCane, ECDC Executive Director. “Once we learned that ACT was opening the CWRC program to individual counties, we convened a Leadership Team to discuss the opportunity and put together the application. That team consists of ECDC, County Commissioner Ken Masters, Mayor Mike Pavey, Chamber Director Sandy Fussner, Rush County School Superintendent John Williams, Assistant Superintendent Matt Vance, Ivy Tech Corporate College representative Kim Thurlow, WorkOne representatives Melissa Leaming, Jody Springer and Leslie Shaul and Industry Representative INTAT, David Reid. When we learned of our acceptance into the program, the Leadership Team designated Carolyn Bunzendahl, ECDC Client Services Manager, and Melissa Leaming from WorkOne to attend the Academy. At the Academy, they will learn more about ACT’s testing infrastructure, data gathering and reporting. They will establish performance metrics for Rush County. ACT will assist and provide technical support as we work together to achieve those goals. The monthly data that ACT will generate will provide solid evidence that our community has the skilled workforce to support economic growth.”

For more information on this initiative, call the ECDC at 765-938-3232 or go to