Ready for Work


20 Adult Education Success in Mississippi with Guest Bronwyn Robertson

Season 1, Ep. 20

Bronwyn Robertson shares how Mississippi Community College Board’s Smart Start adult education equips adult learners with workforce credentials (including the WorkKeys NCRC) and ultimately them for success.

What more can adult education programs be doing to prepare participants for career success? As the job market continues to evolve, more and more learners rely on these programs to educate them on financial literacy, career awareness skills, class management systems, sector strategies, and countless other workforce-related topics.

Smart Start, a program of the Office of Adult Education at the Mississippi Community College Board, is taking the initiative by equipping its participants with vital career readiness skills and credentials. Smart Start Project Specialist Bronwyn Robertson is hopeful that this program will continue to close the gap between worker supply and demand.

Founded upon ACT® WorkKeys® Curriculum, Smart Start is a 45-hour intensive course that teaches participants how to apply their specialized skills beyond high school. Students also have the opportunity to earn their ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®). Robertson and her team agree that earning these credentials is critical—particularly for those 350,000 Mississippi residents who do not have their high school diploma.

“The Smart Start program through the Office of Adult Education is a career pathway,” shares Robertson. “At the end of the day, we are all trying to provide every Mississippian the opportunity to secure employment.”

With over 6,200 Smart Start credentials offered since 2016, it’s clear that Mississippi’s adult education initiative has made a lasting impact on the success of its participants. Tune in to Episode 20 and hear more about how Mississippi’s Smart Start plan is empowering current and future jobseekers.

Join the Conversation

Skill UP Mississippi: Facebook and Twitter

Mississippi Community College Board: Twitter

Jasen Jones Twitter:  @JasenCJones

ACT Twitter: @act

ACT Workforce Solutions: LinkedIn


Implementation of ACT WorkKeys Curriculum in Adult Education Presentation from ACT Workforce Summit

Office of Adult Education at the Mississippi Community College Board

ACT® WorkKeys® Curriculum

ACT WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®)

ACT Work Ready Communities

ACT Workforce Summit

More Episodes


27 - Joplin's Road to Recovery as a Work Ready Community - Ten Years After Devastating Tornado Disaster

Season 2, Ep. 27
One of the nation's deadliest tornados struck Joplin, Missouri ten years ago this week.On episode 27 of Ready for Work, we take a closer look at Joplin's recovery through the lens of the workforce ecosystem and the nation's first ACT-certified Work Ready Community.A recurring theme is the priceless value of partnership connectivity and innovation.The workforce ecosystem was fortunate to have integrated partnerships with education and economic development that helped respond directly to the needs and urgency required.Check out interviews with a few of those partners, such as Dave Rockers from Franklin Technology Center, Julie Gibson, a former state workforce development director, and Rob O’Brian, the developer at the helm of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce during the recovery effort.This edition showcases clips from participants and leaders in Joplin's Disaster Recovery Jobs Program.Guests and Featured ResourcesRob O’Brian, O’Brian and Associates, former President of the Joplin Area Chamber of CommerceDave Rockers, Director, Franklin Technology CenterJulie Gibson, GPS Impact, former director of Missouri Workforce DevelopmentCitizens Advisory Recovery TeamSouthwest Missouri Workforce BoardACT Press Release on Joplin Tornado 10th AnniversaryDisaster Recovery Jobs Program Statewide Video JournalDisaster Recovery and Resiliency Series – Ready for Work PodcastResiliency Toolkit and Disaster Recovery Resources from ACTACT Work Ready Communities