Chariton Leader, July 29, 2014
Bill Howes, Associate Editor
During Lunch on the Square on July 25th, a presentation was made to recognize Lucas County as a Skilled Iowa Community. Iowa Workforce Development Deputy Director Ed Wallace presented a plaque for the designation to Lucas County Development Corporation (LCDC) Executive Director Shantel Dow, who accepted it on behalf of LCDC. LCDC President Christopher Watkins was unable to attend.
Lucas County became the first county in its 10-county region to achieve the designation of being a Skilled Iowa Community. There are about 13 communities in the entire state that have achieved the Skilled Iowa Community designation.
Both Wallace and Linda Rouse, the Operations Director for Iowa Works of Southern Iowa out of Ottumwa, spoke at the presentation.
Wallace said that he represents Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and that they are very proud of Lucas County for becoming a Skilled Iowa Community.
Wallace also recognized Chariton Schools Superintendent Paula Wright and Chariton High School Principal Tracy Hall for being drivers of the Skilled Iowa Community initiative. Wright pushed the initiative in the district and Hall pushed it in the high school. Wright was present for the presentation, but Hall was unable to attend.
Wallace said that 253 students in Lucas County took the National Career Readiness Certificate Test, which was led by Wright. In order to achieve the Skilled Iowa Community designation, Wallace said there are specific metrics that have to be met, including the number of businesses participating and the number of employees participating in a county.
"The Skilled Iowa Community designation is a real good marketing tool for Lucas County Development to attract businesses to our county by showing that we have a skilled workforce," Dow said.