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Jasper County, Newton close to being Skilled Iowa Communities

Monday, September 08, 2014

Article by Newton Daily News

Both Jasper County and the City of Newton are only 80 people away from becoming two of the largest Skilled Iowa Communities in the state of Iowa.

Craig Immerfall, of Iowa Workforce Development, presented this information the Jasper County Board of Supervisors during Tuesday’s meeting, with the board later approving a resolution to participate in the program.

There are currently nine Skilled Iowa Communities present in the state.

“What the Skilled Community is, is one piece of a larger initiative called Skilled Iowa.  Skilled Iowa is an economic development initiative for the state of Iowa as a whole,” Immerfall said.

The purposed of Skilled Iowa is to solve the lack of middle skill workers available in the workforce. One way of combating this is offering up the free National Career Readiness Assessment test. The test would then give a certification of bronze, silver, gold and platinum, which can show potential employers a person’s qualifications for a position.

The City of Newton has been attempting the gain a Skilled Iowa designation since Gov. Terry Branstad allocated funding toward the program in 2012, and every high school in Jasper County has its students take the test.  

In addition, Immerfall said the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce, Newton Development Corporation, the Jasper County Economic Development Corporation, Skiff Medical Center and a number of other entities within the county support the initiative.

“Let’s go for it,” said board member Dennis Carpenter.

Jasper County Human Resources Director Dennis Simon said that having future applicants that have already completed the NCRC test will help the county better determine what type of positions those employees could fill.

Immerfall added that it is of no-cost for the county to participate and that when it garners the designation, it will be a great marketing tool to attract businesses.

NDC  is partnering with DMACC to hold a NCRC  testing opportunity for citizens on Sept. 15, 16 and 17 at Newton’s DMACC campus computer lab. Testing times range from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and participants can chose to take all three one-hour tests at once or break them up over days or hours.

Register to take the test at:


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