Career Readiness Certification Program
Seark College Workforce Development Center is an authorized testing Center for the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
Applicants visit Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and take three (3) online pre-assessments in the following areas:
- Workplace Documents (WD)
- Graphic Literacy (GL)
- Applied Math (AM)
ACT WorkKeys® curriculum analyzes results and recommends lessons in areas identified as needing improvement.
If needed, the applicant works lessons to improve skills 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 Southeast Arkansas (Seark) College Workforce Development Center (WDC), 1900 Hazel Street, Pine Bluff, to be scheduled for the proctored WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) assessments. Assessments are 55 minutes each with a short break between assessments. Certificate levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Jobs at Evergreen Packaging (EP) have been profiled and a silver certificate, or better, is required for entry level positions. More specialized positions require additional testing, Maintenance/General Mechanic and Instrument Electrician for example.
What is a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)?
A NCRC 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 NCRC allows an individual to show prospective employers that he or she possesses the basic skills that they are needing.
Even if a job seeker has a GED, high school diploma or post-secondary degree, the NCRC further verifies that he can handle tasks such as reading workplace documents, gathering information from charts and graphs, and workplace math.
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:
■ Workplace Documents
■ Applied Math
■ Graphic Literacy
■ Applied Technology
■ Workplace Observation
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?
A minimum pre-assessment score of 4 is required on the three main assessments: Applied Math, Workplace Documents, and Graphic Literacy. This says the individual is ready for lessons at level 4 and should successfully complete the NCRC with 3s and, therefore, earn a bronze NCRC. Participants are encouraged to work lessons to improve skill levels before scheduling the proctored assessments. Note: WorkKeys® scores are not related to grade-level equivalents or any other scoring system.
How can the NCRC help meet the needs of employers?
The NCRC program uses results from the WorkKeys® assessments to award certificates in four categories:
Platinum level signifies an individual has scored at least a level 6 in each of the three core areas (Workplace Documents, Applied Math, and Graphic Literacy) and has the necessary skills for 99% of the jobs profiled in the WorkKeys® database.
Gold level signifies an individual has scored at least a level 5 in each of the three core areas (Workplace Documents, Applied Math, and Graphic Literacy) and has the necessary skills for 93 percent of the 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 69 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 17 percent of the jobs in the WorkKeys® database.
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 NCRC, assessment results will indicate the targeted training needed to achieve the skill levels necessary to obtain a certificate. The Department of Workforce Services and Adult Ed offers developmental courses for the clients who do not successfully reach the required level on the WorkKeys® pre-assessments.
For More Information Locally:
Arkansas Department of Workforce Service – (870) 534-1920
10001 Tennessee Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71603
Seark College WDC – (870) 543-5947
1900 Hazel Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71603