An initiative that began months ago is finally starting to take off. Work Hard Work Smart is opening up two new assessment locations in hopes of getting the unemployed and underemployed a job or a better job.
Representatives are calling on the community to help Wichita County become the first career ready county in the state.
Michael Paris Vice President of Workforce Development is opening more doors for the area's underemployed and unemployed.
"We want people who are a bit timid about getting help to find jobs to know that they can confidentially work with us, set up an appointment and confidentially take the assessment," said Paris.
That's why Work Hard Work Smart is opening up two more assessment locations in Wichita County. Spearheaded by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce the agency is aimed at connecting employees to employers through a 3.5 hour assessment. Right now Work Hard Work Smart has already reached two of its three goals, reaching high school seniors and employers.
"Now we're working on the adult population and that's why we've opened up the new assessment sites," said Program Director, Teea Reed.
Jimmy Crump was one of more than 1,400 people who took the test and received his National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). He put it on his application and soon found a job.
"It's showing the employers that you have already meet certain qualifications," said Crump.
Work Hard Work Smart works with more than 60 employers who recognize the certificate. Jimmy Crump works at a different employer, but says it's another tool aimed at assisting people.
"I believe the more people who get involved with it, the more companies that get involved with it. It will be a very useful tool."
In order to reach the goal of becoming the first career ready community in the state 85 percent of high school seniors must possess the certificate along with 35 percent of the unemployed and three percent of the underemployed.
"It helps with economic development internally and attracting jobs externally," said Paris.
Assessment begins this week at the new locations in Burkburnett and Iowa Park.
Iowa Park: January 5, January 26 and February 16 at the Iowa Park High School.
Burkburnett: January 12, January 19 and February 9 at the Burkburnett High School.
Testing is held at the computer labs and begins at 5 p.m. The assessment consists of math, reading, and locating information. The National Career Readiness Certificate is recognized in 35 states.
To reach more about the initiative click here.