Chicago — April 11
ACT Inc., a nonprofit provider of assessment, research, information and program management services in education and workforce development, launched its “Tomorrow’s Workforce Now” initiative, a commitment to help businesses and workers meet the challenges of the 21st century.
ACT announced the initiative as part of the opening ceremonies for its 15th annual national conference spotlighting best practices in workforce development and credentialing.
Through “Tomorrow’s Workforce Now,” ACT will fund assessment and workplace credentials to provide a jump start toward solving the workplace skills gap. This gift to the nation will seek to enable thousands of employers and tens of thousands of individuals to try an evidence-based workplace service.
ACT will document and analyze valuable additional data to help businesses pinpoint deficiencies in their talent pipeline, and individuals will be able to assess and certify essential job skills.
A growing number of community colleges across the nation have already committed to leadership roles in implementing the program. Community colleges will work with other local partners including businesses, workforce agencies and economic development agencies to help build communities equipped to create and compete for high-quality jobs and careers.
A major component within the initiative is ACT’s commitment to helping employers across the nation understand and apply its proven assessment tools, which include the ACT WorkKeys job skills system and the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).Who can be a part of “Tomorrow’s Workforce Now”?
ACT is seeking the support of a wide range of partners and stakeholders in implementing this initiative. It will draw heavily on existing and new relationships with community colleges, workforce and economic development agencies to replicate proven, innovative practices designed to create strong regional economies. Economic and workforce development organizations are encouraged to partner with area employers to participate in “Tomorrow’s Workforce Now.”
ACT will build on this support to identify and replicate best practices that are emerging across the nation with respect to career pathways, work-ready communities, workforce training and statewide career readiness programs.How can partners participate in the “Tomorrow’s Workforce Now” initiative?
ACT invites regional groups of employers and community partners such as community colleges to submit an application to ACT through an online process available at www.TomorrowsWorkforceNow.com
. ACT will accept applications May 1 through the end of the year. What will be an eligible employer’s responsibility, and what will they gain?
Each employer must commit to completing a survey and testing the workplace skills of 20 individuals — applicants or current employees — using four ACT WorkKeys assessments:
• WorkKeys Locating
• WorkKeys Math
• WorkKeys Reading
• Personality (formerly known as Talent)
In return, employers will gain evidence-based data about the assessed individuals and will have access to an insider’s view of national research correlating job skills to job performance by occupation. This research is designed to help employers make more accurate hiring and promotion decisions, thereby reducing turnover and decreasing training time and costs, resulting in positive effects on their organization’s bottom line.What do eligible employees and job seekers gain?
Individuals who take the four WorkKeys assessments may earn an NCRC or an NCRC Plus. Unlike many diplomas or certifications, both are evidence-based, criterion-referenced skills credentials that are portable across the nation. And because they are standardized, an NCRC or NCRC Plus means exactly the same thing to an employer in Atlanta or Anchorage.
The addition of the WorkKeys Personality assessment to the three core cognitive skills assessments required for the NCRC makes the credential an NCRC Plus. This enhancement adds a valuable dimension in terms of the work-related behaviors an individual is inclined to practice on the job.Source: ACT Inc.