GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-The Mesa County Workforce Center has been certified as the very first Work Ready Community in the state of Colorado.

Officials at the Workforce Center say they started working towards this goal about a year ago.

Officials say that being a Workforce Ready Community means showing local employers what Mesa County’s skilled work force looks like.

In order to receive this award from the National Career Readiness Certificate, the Workforce Center tested job seekers and current employers on math, reading and the ability to locate information.

The director of the workforce center says this helps Mesa County in three different ways.

“From an economic development standpoint, it allows us to objectively map our skilled workforce to perspective employers,” says Curtis Englehart, Director of the Workforce Center.

“From an employers perspective, it allows them to really focus their hiring process more on fit. From a job seekers perspective, it really allows them to get their foot in the door with an employer that recognizes this test,” adds Englehart.

As the first county in Colorado certified as a work ready community, the Workforce Center really hopes to make this a regional initiative, with the hopes of becoming a national initiative.