Cenla Work Ready Network

The Cenla Work Ready Network is a program designed to link education and workforce development efforts and align them with regional economic needs. 

Created by The Rapides Foundation in 2011, the Cenla Work Ready Network is administered by The Orchard Foundation in the nine parishes served by the Foundation. The work is funded by The Rapides Foundation as part of its Education Initiative's Career and Postsecondary Readiness strategies. 

Through the Cenla Work Ready Network, high school students, and unemployed or under-employed adults are able to earn a nationally recognized certificate that demonstrates their work ready skills to a potential employer. The Cenla Work Ready Network consists of the following components:

  • Career Ready 101 - a web-based, career training course that prepares students for certification with WorkKeys assessments
  • WorkKeys - a job skills assessment that measures foundational and soft skills. Assessment through WorkKeys can lead to earning the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
  • National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) - a portable, evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills and is a reliable predictor of workplace success.

In addition, through the Louisiana Department of Education's innovative career and technical education program - Jump Start - high school students are being prepared to lead productive adult lives, capable of continuing their education after high school while earning certifications in high-wage career sectors. Students are required to attain industry-promulgated, industry-valued credentials in order to graduate with a Career Diploma. Through the Cenla Work Ready Network, financial support is available for school/business partnerships which directly lead to students earning industry-based credentials.

The Cenla Work Ready Network was created with the understanding that workforce is the driver for economic development and income growth. The components of the Network help students prepare for and measure real world skills that are valuable for any occupation at any level of education. To learn more about the Cenla Work Ready Network, contact The Orchard Foundation.

Central Louisiana is an ACT® Work Ready Region

Central Louisiana is a Work Ready Communities Region, certified by ACT®. This means that all 10 central Louisiana parishes have met all requirements for certification by the ACT® Work Ready Communities (WRC) initiative. This certification, recognized by Site Selectors, empowers our region, and member parishes, with the capacity to leverage the ACT® WorkKeys system to provide employers with employees who have been assessed to possess the critical and logical thinking skills needed for today’s jobs. Jobseekers are leveraging the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) to measure and close the skills gap. Employers can use job profiles to determine the quantitative skill levels needed for their positions, and match those with assessed jobseekers. The system helps to build a common framework that links and aligns workforce development efforts for all stakeholders, including jobseekers, educational providers, employers and economic developers. For more information on how your business can connect with skilled, assessed jobseekers, contact your local American Jobs Center (Louisiana Business and Career Solutions Center).

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Total NCRCs for Central Lousiana