NWC News Desk

March 17 & 19 lunch programs look at Career Readiness Certification

Posted March 6, 2009

POWELL, Wyo. - "Career Readiness Certification" is the topic of the March lunch program sponsored by the Northwest College Centers for Training and Development. The programs are scheduled Tuesday, March 17, in Cody and Thursday, March 19, in Powell.

Rob Black with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in Cheyenne will discuss the ACT Career Readiness Certificate, a portable skills credential based on three primary WorkKeys assessments. This standardized assessment tool is growing in popularity as a resource for job seekers and employers nationwide. The State of Wyoming Workforce Services is promoting the Career Readiness Certification as a tool for employers and a credential for jobseekers.

According to economic development consultant Barbara Bolin, the changing U.S. workforce has created more opportunities for people of all ages who can demonstrate they can apply learning and have the ability to learn quickly and efficiently, often on the job. The traditional reliance on academic credentials indicates what a person knows but not necessarily what a person can do. "Trainability" is the term that has been given to this gap in assessment tools. The WorkKeys assessments that lead to the Career Readiness Certificate are designed to fill that gap. It's not intended as a replacement for existing credentials (high school diploma, associate degree, etc.), but as a complement. It assesses abilities in reading for information, locating information and applied mathematics.

The Career Readiness Certificate is particularly useful for recently dislocated older workers who have no other credential, according to Bolin, and for career and technical education students who have skills that are often overlooked by employers.

Black will show how it can help employers identify job skill requirements, identify a pool of skilled job applicants, match employee skills with job requirements and align training for incumbent employees.

The one-hour program gets underway in both communities at noon, with networking opportunities starting at 11:45 a.m. The Cody session meets Tuesday, March 17, in Room 2206 of the NWC Cody Center, located in the Park County Complex. In Powell, the group convenes Thursday, March 19, in the Center for Training and Development on the Northwest College West Campus.

Northwest College, in partnership with Wyoming Workforce Services, is offering this month's program free of charge. Reservations, however, must still be made by the day prior to the event. Click the link to reserve a seat in Powell, or call (307) 754-6062 or toll-free (800) 560-4692, ext. 6062; or for the Cody program, or by calling (307) 587-3506.

Those who are unable to attend a lunch program are invited to talk with Black during a continental breakfast from 8-9 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, at the NWC Cody Center for Training and Development.