Career Readiness Certification Program

 

Southeast Arkansas College Announces

Authorized WorkKeys Job Profiler

SEARK College’s Workforce Development staff announces that Verna Perry, Industry Training Specialist, has completed training to become an Authorized WorkKeys Job Profiler. Job profiling serves a direct link to ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate, a job readiness initiative supported by Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.  Perry notes that while job profiling has not been a popular venture for local industries, nationally the services are becoming necessary. Industries and colleges with interest in job profiling can contact SEARK WDC at (870) 543-5948.

 

Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) Process

Applicants register at either location:

  • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
  • Arkansas Workforce Center
  • Jefferson County Adult Education Center

Applicants take KeyTrain pre-assessments in three areas that consist of up to 20 questions.

  • Reading for Information (RI)
  • Locating Information (LI)
  • Applied Math (AM)

KeyTrain, an online program, analyzes results and assigns lessons to areas that are identified as needing improvement.

The applicant works lessons to improve skills if needed and retakes the pre-assessment.

When the applicant has improved skills to their satisfaction and has scored above the minimum requirement, they receive a Referral Form to Ron Boren, Seark College, to be scheduled for the proctored WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC). Exams are 55 minutes each with a short break between assessments. Certificates are signed by the governor and are Bronze, Silver, Gold, or the new Platinum.

Jobs at Evergreen Packaging (EP) have been profiled and a silver certificate as a minimum is required for entry level positions. More specialized positions require additional testing, Maintenance/General Mechanic and Instrument Electrician for example.

Arkansas DWS, CRC Program FAQs

What is an Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate (CRC)?

An Arkansas CRC is a portable credential based upon the WorkKeys® assessments that demonstrates to employers that an individual pos­sesses the basic workplace skills required for 21st century jobs. Getting a CRC will allow an individual to show prospective employers that he or she possesses the basic skills they are looking for.

Even if a job seeker has a GED, high school diploma or post-sec­ondary degree, the Arkansas CRC further verifies that he can handle tasks such as finding information, reading instructions and directions, and working with numbers – that are common in today’s workplaces.

 

What is KeyTrain®?

A product of Thinking Media, KeyTrain® is the first step toward achiev­ing an Arkansas CRC. KeyTrain® is a targeted curriculum written spe­cifically to help people master the applied workplace skills as defined by WorkKeys®. As an ACT Level 1 publisher, KeyTrain® provides curriculum that is based on the WorkKeys® targets for instruction and meets ACT’s quality standards.

KeyTrain® includes instruction for all levels of WorkKeys® and pre-WorkKeys® skills. It is available via the Internet, CD, or print versions. The Internet and CD versions include a powerful management and student tracking system that allows for easy administration and de­tailed reporting of students’ progress in the program. The KeyTrain® curriculum aligns with all 9 of the ACT WorkKeys® assessments and also has 200 lessons for pre-employment workplace career or soft skills instruction.

KeyTrain® and WorkKeys® are “workforce development tools” to en­sure “no worker is left behind.”

 

What is WorkKeys®?

The WorkKeys® job skills assessment system is a product of ACT, Inc., the developer of the ACT assessment that is commonly used for col­lege entrance testing. The WorkKeys® employment system is a com­prehensive procedure for measuring, communicating and improving the common skills required for success in the workplace. WorkKeys® measures foundational skills in the following areas:

■ Reading for information

■ Applied Mathematics

■ Locating Information

■ Applied Technology

■ Business Writing

■ Listening

■ Observation

■ Teamwork

■ Writing

 

What are the Target Areas and Levels of an Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate?

The Arkansas CRC focuses on three targeted skills:

■ Reading for Information

■ Applied Mathematics

■ Locating Information

 

Reading for Information—comprehending work-related reading materials, from memos and bul­letins to policy manuals and governmental regulations.

Applied Mathematics—applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems.

Locating Information—using information from such materials as diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms, graphs, and charts.

 

What is the challenge facing Employers?

Numerous surveys have demonstrated a gap between the current workforce and the job skills required by employers. To reduce the cost of remedial training and lost efficiency, more employers are implementing pre-employment assessments to identify these skills prior to hiring.

 

What are the requirements for successfully completing the assessments?

You should contact your local ADWS/AWIB office to determine the specific scores required in your area. However, most areas require a score of 4 in Applied Mathematics, 4 in Reading for Informa­tion and 4 in Locating Information. WorkKeys® scores are not related to grade-level equivalents or any other scoring system.

 

How can the AR CRC help meet the needs of employers?

The Arkansas CRC program uses results from the WorkKeys® assessments to award certificates in three categories: Gold level signifies an individual has scored at least a level 5 in each of the three core areas (Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information) and has the necessary skills for 90 percent of the 14,000 jobs profiled in the WorkKeys® database. Silver level signifies an individual has scored at least a level 4 in each of the three core areas and has the necessary skills for 65 percent of the jobs in the WorkKeys® database. Bronze level signifies an individual has scored at least a level 3 in each of the three core areas and has the necessary skills for 35 percent of the jobs in the WorkKeys® database. The Department of Workforce Services will provide the client with a certificate that includes the Governor’s and Director’s of ADWS and AWIB signature. Additionally, the client will receive a wallet size certificate. The certificate is a portable credential, allowing employees to use it anywhere in the nation. The certificate can complement diplomas, degrees, and resumes, and gives job seekers an advantage in the interview process.

 

What do we do if students test below the minimum WorkKeys Skill Levels?

For individuals who do not initially achieve the Arkansas CRC, assessment results will indicate the targeted training needed to achieve the skill levels necessary to obtain a certificate. The Depart­ment of Workforce Education/Adult Ed will offer developmental courses for the clients who do not successfully reach the required level in KeyTrain® instruction and/or WorkKeys® assessments.

 

What about technical support and responsiveness?

KeyTrain® answers all calls in 15 minutes or less. 365 days a year, 24/7 call 1-877-842-6205 when you need assistance. For information or assistance regarding KeyTrain®, WorkKeys®, and AR CRC contact Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, phone: 501-683-4708 or 1-866-757-2999, e-mail: crcatarkansas [dot] gov.

 

For More Information Locally:

Arkansas Department of Workforce Service – (870) 534-1920

10001 Tennessee Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71603

Arkansas Workforce Center at Pine Bluff – (870) 575-9797

10001 Tennessee Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71603