Howard Chosen for National Career Readiness Program

Howard County was chosen to participate in a National Association of Counties program addressing workforce shortages and structural barriers to employment.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has chosen Howard County as one of eight counties nationwide for the launch of its inaugural Counties for Career Success (C4CS) cohort featuring. The eight county teams  have committed to “working collaboratively and streamlining pathways to higher education and employment.”

NACo’s C4CS initiative aims to address national issues, including workforce shortages and structural barriers to employment, by leveraging the unique position of counties at the intersection of post-secondary education, workforce development, and human services. From a press release:

By fostering cross-systems collaboration, county governments can connect residents with family-sustaining jobs that meet local industry needs.

The selected counties, representing a regionally and demographically diverse set of communities, have each identified three local leaders to participate in the program, representing post-secondary education, workforce development, and human services organizations.

Over the next year, they will deepen their understanding of career readiness through discussions with national subject matter experts and visits to successful programs in peer counties. Each team will identify a county-specific action plan designed to create lasting impacts on the local education and employment landscape.

NACo’s website states:

The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed lasting impacts on the nature of work, including a widespread shift toward remote work and automation, changes to job demand across industries, economic uncertainty, job loss and disparities in educational and employment attainment. Workers across the nation have had to adapt to these new ways of working and develop new skills to stay competitive in a changing job market.

Post-secondary education can be a practical pathway to the degrees, credentials and skills needed for employment in an economy with increased demand for qualifications beyond high school. Counties are uniquely positioned to invest in and coordinate post-secondary education, workforce development and human services systems that not only address industry needs, but also support low-income and marginalized students.

Howard County is joined by:

  • City and County of Honolulu, Hawai’i
  • Maricopa County, Ariz.
  • Lancaster County, Neb.
  • Douglas County, Neb.
  • Warren County, Ohio
  • Hamilton County, Tenn.
  • Saratoga County, N.Y.

Learn more about NACo’s C4CS program.