Utah has heeded the cry from local businesses to find a better way to measure hard to quantify skills in the workforce through its investment in the ACT Certified Work Ready Communities infrastructure.
ACT, best known for its college entrance exams, provides assessments to measure skills such as reading comprehension and mathematics. Scores received by test takers are one of the best ways to determine potential for on the job success. This ACT program is a good tool for both small companies that do not have an HR department to rely on and large companies that are looking to narrow down the incumbent employees to only the most qualified applicants.
“Governor Herbert set the goal for 66% of our workforce to have a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2020,” said Spencer P. Eccles, executive director of GOED. “Utah residents now have the opportunity to earn certificates and degrees that have real value in terms of career readiness. ACT WorkKeys provides an important way to quantify the quality of our workforce. This paves the way for Utah residents to improve their work skills and earn certificates and degrees that result in higher paying jobs.”
Successful completion of ACT WorkKeys assessments in applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information can lead to earning ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Certificates can be earned at Applied Technology Colleges, Community Colleges and local Department of Workforce Services (DWS) offices.
Dr. Carol Lynn George, State Science Advisor said, “The vision for the ACT Work Ready Communities program for the State of Utah is that industry will have this resource to assess the skills gaps of the workforce. Students and workers will use tools and certificates to prepare to enter the workforce or change careers, policy makers will see measurable outcomes to know where to put resources, and local economic developers will have irrefutable proof of the quality of the workforce to attract and grow businesses regionally.”