America's Resource for On-the-Job Training

Assess Your Workforce

Employers across the country report that they are often overwhelmed by stacks of applications for only a handful of open positions. Sifting through these applications is time-consuming and inefficient. You need a way to quickly pinpoint individuals with essential, verifiable workplace skills. The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is your solution.

CERTIFY YOUR WORKFORCE

Ask your applicants to earn the NCRC. It’s that simple. Once you do, you’ll be on your way to finding qualified applicants for your job openings. The National Career Readiness Certificate, issued by ACT, is a portable, evidence-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success. This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and verifies the following cognitive skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading and using work-related text
  • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems
  • Applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems
  • Setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculations
  • Locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically
  • Comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in multiple related graphics

Take that first important step toward certifying your workforce by asking for the NCRC.

MEASURE PERSONAL STRENGTHS WITH NCRC PLUS

Foundational knowledge and skills related to job tasks are the most valid predictors of work performance. Combining measures of cognitive skills with measures of work-related behaviors—or soft skills—brings even greater accuracy to predictions about an individual’s success at work or in training. In addition to the cognitive skills listed previously, the NCRC Plus ranks individuals in the following soft skills categories:

  • Work Discipline—Productivity and dependability
  • Teamwork—Tolerance, communication, and attitude
  • Customer Service Orientation—Interpersonal skills and perseverance
  • Managerial Potential—Persuasion, enthusiasm, and problem solving

Individuals can earn the NCRC Plus by taking the WorkKeys Talent assessment. The Talent assessment is not required to qualify for a National Career Readiness Certificate. The foundational skills certified by the NCRC and the NCRC Plus are recognized by thousands of employers as essential for workplace success and career advancement.

SC Work Ready

Work Ready Community is a measure of the quality of a county’s workforce. It is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today’s competitive economy.

South Carolina’s initiative certifies the quality of the workforce based on 4 criteria. Counties must meet goals for high school graduation, soft skills development, business support, and National Career Readiness Certificate holders.

On behalf of the State of South Carolina, members of the South Carolina Workforce Investment Board, and the State Leadership Team certify counties as Work Ready when each of the 4 criteria are met. Click here to see your county’s criteria. Counties close to meeting the criteria and presenting plans to achieve the goals within two years can be considered as Work Ready Community in Progress, indicating a community commitment to meet the skilled workforce needs of business and industry.

Certification Criteria

The first step in becoming a Work Ready Community is creating a strategy to meet your county criteria.

County goals are calculated using census population and labor force data. Counties are grouped into small, medium and large categories to provide each county with an equal opportunity for achievement.

Other criteria are aligned to S.C. Department of Education goals and the needs of businesses.

The following are the required categories to become a South Carolina Certified Work Ready Community.

Career Readiness Courseware

Closing the Skills and Educational Gaps

What is the best way to prepare for the WorkKeys assessments and identify foundational skill sets of individuals or potential employees? The answer is Career Ready 101 and KeyTrain Software.

Career Ready 101 is a one-of-a-kind program designed to provide comprehensive online career training curriculum that includes KeyTrain. KeyTrain is courseware that is directly aligned with ACT’s WorkKeys assessment system. Career Ready 101 also includes courseware that aligns with the WorkKeys Talent assessment that is used to measure soft skills.

Career Ready 101 is available at no-cost to all city, county and state government agencies (to include schools) as well as libraries and will include access to KeyTrain. If you are a public entity that has not currently signed up to have access to Career Ready 101, the online application for sites can be found at http://www.act.org/workforce/order/index.html

Individuals will be able to gain access to Career Ready 101 and KeyTrain software through public entities. Once an individual has a Career Ready 101 account, it can be used via the Internet anywhere.

Businesses and individuals interested in learning and understanding the WorkKeys assessments and Career Ready 101 may have access through the S.C. Demo account.

Follow the Steps below to access the log-in information, quick start guide and course curriculum:

Career Ready 101 and KeyTrain Software

  • Career Ready 101 is a comprehensive online career training curriculum that includes KeyTrain.
  • Career Ready 101 also includes courseware that aligns with the WorkKeys Talent assessment that is used to measure soft skills.
  • KeyTrain is courseware that is directly aligned with ACT’s WorkKeys assessment system.
  • Career Ready 101 will be free to city, county, and state government agencies as well as libraries and will include access to KeyTrain.
  • Individuals will be able to gain access to Career Ready 101 and KeyTrain software through public entities.
  • Once an individual has a Career Ready 101 account, it can be used via the Internet anywhere.

Advantages to Career Ready 101 and KeyTrain Software

  • Quickly design a course and build a course calendar
  • Use self-paced lessons or extensive instructor-led documents
  • Provide all aspects of career readiness training in one system
  • Foundational skills using the WorkKeys system
  • Vital life-skills such as financial literacy, career exploration, resume writing and interviewing skills
  • Soft skills such as customer service and work habits
  • Track all data in one central system – including data from computer-based lessons AND instructor-led lessons
Q PREPARE

Learn to explain the program to others with clear, consistent statements
Get the appropriate people at your company involved
Executive level (program sponsor, decision maker)
Human Resources staff
Heads or representatives of major departments

Q PLAN

Decide how your company will use the NCRC
Recommend for some or all positions
Use for hiring and/or promoting
Assign tasks to appropriate team members
Review key steps and prepare to implement

Q LAUNCH

Communicate with internal and external audiences
Train internal stakeholders who will work with the program
Integrate the credential into job postings and descriptions: “We recommend a National Career Readiness Certificate for all applicants to this position.”

Q BUILD

Help applicants earn the National Career Readiness Certificate. Find a test center near you.
Build a pool of qualified applicants
* Businesses cannot require that an individual applying for an open position have a specific WorkKeys score for the three basic assessments unless a job profile has been conducted that outlines the necessary skills needed for a specific position. Businesses could be subject to EEOC and other employment laws if this is misrepresented.

Q Why is NCRC Important to Employers?

Connecting employers to a skilled workforce
Rapid global advances in industry and technology increase the pace of change facing South Carolina employers. The challenge and the opportunity are the same – to build and maintain a skilled workforce that can readily adapt to market demands.

To do so, South Carolina employers need an objective method to measure and document essential skills related to employment.

As an employer, you know the importance of hiring the right person. You want to start by drawing from a pool of qualified applicants with assurance that they will have the skills needed for successful job performance. After all, the success of your organization hinges on the strength of your workforce

Q How does our business start using NCRC within our human resources functions?

Businesses can recommend that individuals have an NCRC, prefer that individuals have and NCRC or recommend that individuals have specific scores on each of the core competencies. Businesses can at anytime recommend or prefer that individuals have a nationally recognized portable credential. However, if a business wants to recommend that an individual have specific WorkKeys scores, a company will have to have the specific job opening profiled.

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