Supervisors Approve Letter Of Support For Skilled Iowa Initiative

Mahaska County Board of Supervisors In Session On September 3, 2013Oskaloosa, Iowa – On Monday morning, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a letter of support for the Skilled Iowa Initiative. The initiative allows employers to determine the skill level of potential employees.

Amy Brink, who works for the Iowa Workforce Development and has worked on the initiative for two years, explained the initiative to the supervisors and says it would “help improve the lower-skilled job seekers and employees.”

Brink says about 55 percent of jobs in Iowa require workers to be “middle-skilled.” She says only 33 percent of Iowa workers have mid-level skills.

“We’re really trying to increase that skill level,” Brink says.

The initiative gives workers the opportunity to job shadow professionals, and to eventually take the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) assessment. The NCRC assessment tests workers on math and reading, and evaluates the skills and abilities of a worker. Brink says about 35,000 individuals across the state have been tested.

Brink asked the supervisors for a letter supporting the initiative. She says the letter shows the county is supportive of the initiative. If businesses and organizations in the county get on board with the initiative and start utilizing the NCRC assessment to hire employees, then eventually the county can become a “Skilled Iowa Community.”

Brink says achieving that status helps with economic development. She says Lucas and Keokuk County have achieved that designation.

The supervisors also unanimously approved two different sub-committees to oversee the hiring of the new community services director.

Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Doland says the county received 14 applications for the position. The supervisors approved a sub-committee made up of Doland, Julie Bak, Connie Kitzman, and Heather Gross that will narrow down the list to 3-4 candidates that stand out in experience and education.

The supervisors then approved creating another sub-committee that will interview the candidates and hire the new community services director. That committee will be made up of Mahaska County Supervisor Mike Vander Molen, Bak, Kitzman, and Gross.

In other agenda items, Vander Molen told the board that Brown Engineering Company, the roofing expert hired to evaluate the courthouse roof, is still waiting on documents to finalize its evaluation. Vander Molen says that evaluation will be completed by Aug. 1.

The supervisors also received a sanitarian and Mahaska County Agricultural and Rural Development (MCARD) report, and approved reports from the County Sheriff, the County Recorder, the County Treasurer, and Veteran’s Affairs.

 

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