Twenty-three seniors in the high school’s senior Business & Marketing Management (BMM) class earned National Career Readiness Certificates on May 10.
According to ACT(1), “the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a portable credential that demonstrates achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information, and Reading for Information.” More than 30 states are currently issuing the Certificate in statewide or regional programs. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development began issuing The Certificate at testing sites across the state in September 2009.
NCRC is part of the WorkKeys® system, which is used by thousands of companies worldwide as a tool to help employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain the high-performance workforce necessary to compete successfully in today’s global economy.
Career and Transition Counselor Judi Walsh assisted BMM teachers John Webster and Debbie Brewster in providing students with the opportunity to become certified. According to Walsh, it’s a “national certificate – companies across the country are recognizing the value of the NCRC in hiring and promotion for all types of positions. The DAHS students who accepted the challenge to earn the certification will be ahead of the game when compared to others in the employment market.” Students earned the NCRC by taking WorkKeys® assessments in the three areas that measure “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success – Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information, and Reading for Information. Test questions are based on situations in the everyday work world. ACT has one of the largest, most robust occupational profiles databases available. Research has been done on these jobs to identify the essential skills and skill levels for employee selection, hiring, and training.
There are four certification levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. “Very few people taking the test reach a platinum level. (The ACT WorkKeys website indicates that only .5% of the 690,000 certificates issues were platinum.) We were very impressed with our students achieving Silver and Gold levels. Nine students achieved Silver and 14 students earned a Gold level,” said Brewster. A Gold level means that the applicant scored at least a level 5 (out of 7) in each of the three core areas and has the necessary foundational skills for 93 percent of the jobs in the Work Keys database. The database contains more than 16,000 job profiles.
ACT’s website states that “NCRC offers the efficient matching of talent with work—which helps people find great jobs, companies find skilled workers, and our nation’s economy grow and prosper. Launched in 2006, today more than 1.7 million certificates have been issued and more than 40 states have statewide or regional certificate programs.”