WorkKeys helps improve careers

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, May 13, 2010

Through PDCCC’s Division of Workforce Services, many options are available to prepare the workforce and enhance economic development. Connecting business and industry with skilled workers who demonstrate proficiency in workplace readiness, the Career Readiness Certificate is a great example.

The Career Readiness Certificate is a portable credential based on WorkKeys assessments that verify to employers that an individual possesses basic workforce skills needed for 21st-century jobs.

Recognized by thousands of companies nationwide, WorkKeys is a national job analysis and assessment system developed by American College Testing (ACT). To earn a Career Readiness Certificate, individuals undergo testing related to reading, applied math, and locating information through the WorkKeys system.

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These skill areas were identified as the most utilized assessments in the Occupational Profile database at ACT, which contains more than 13,000 job profiles.

Individuals can earn three levels of Career Readiness Certificates based on their test performance. The three levels standardize skills that indicate the certificate holder is job ready and allow individuals to advance in skill level to qualify for more jobs.

The three levels include the Bronze Level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 30 percent of the jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these skill areas; the Silver Level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skill for approximately 65 percent of the profiled jobs; and the Gold Level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 90 percent of the profiled jobs.

For individuals who do not initially achieve the Career Readiness Certificate, assessment results reveal the training needed to achieve the skill levels required for obtaining the certificate. Paul D. Camp’s Division of Workforce Services offers training and education to assist certificate seekers in boosting their skill levels to obtain a certificate.

For many employers, the Career Readiness Certificate is a solution for continuing workplace challenges. Finding people with the right skills, training and education is no easy task, and bridging the gap between an employee’s existing skills and those required on the job can be costly and time-consuming.

Hiring for entry-level positions can pose additional challenges, as applicants often have little or no work history — and employers have no immediate way to evaluate applicant skills. In addition, employers at a distance who are considering relocation or expansion use the skill level of the available workforce as a deciding factor for the locations they choose.

For more information, call Randy Betz, Vice President of Workforce Development, at 569-6064.