A Word from Joe Mizereck, Interim President and Executive Director

December 13, 2021

Today more than ever, skills matter. The question is: which skills? The answer isn’t soft skills, nor is it hard skills. Unquestionably, employers are seeking new hires who possess both sets of skills and are ready to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, job candidates often are found lacking this valuable combination of skills, leaving employers without the talent they need to run their businesses. This sparsity of work ready, or better yet, success ready candidates has left employers struggling and looking for solutions. The National Work Readiness Council (NWRC) offers one proven solution.

The National Work Readiness Credential is a nationally recognized solution that benchmarks foundational skill readiness for entry-level employment. To qualify for the credential, program participants must successfully pass four proctored assessments measuring a combination of applied, career-contextualized math; reading; interpreting data; and soft skills including conveying professionalism, communicating effectively, promoting teamwork and collaboration, and thinking critically and solving problems.

Our comprehensive online curriculum is now offered to support program participant skill development and preparation for the credential assessments. The four qualifying credential assessments are proctored, delivered online, and take 55 minutes each to complete. Upon successfully passing all four qualifying assessments, the program participant is automatically awarded an electronic credential that may be printed or downloaded and shared with prospective employers.

The credential is currently being implemented by high schools, adult education programs, juvenile justice and corrections providers, and other community-based workforce development organizations and workplaces in 28 states across the country. Moreover, the NWRC is

  • providing educator and workforce professionals highly effective tools to advance student and jobseeker career readiness;
  • giving program participants a competitive edge in pursuing post-secondary education or training and employment;
  • saving employers time and money by taking the guesswork out of the hiring process; and
  • accelerating the development of the work ready talent necessary to grow state and local economies.

The underlying credential standards are based on the Equipped for the Future standards developed by the National Institute for Literacy (nifl.gov) in partnership with the Center for Literacy, Education and Employment (clee.utk.edu) at the University of Tennessee and supported by more than 20 years of employer-focused research into the skills required for entry-level employment and job retention. The credential assessments have been extensively field tested and determined to be valid and reliable predictors of readiness for entry-level work and on the job training, making the credential one the most effective workforce and talent development solutions available to American businesses.

To remain competitive, our nation must train and develop a workforce with the foundational skills that are required to succeed in the 21st century workplace. The NWRC understands what employers need and how to work with the workforce development system and policy makers to effect meaningful change.

If you have any questions, reach out to me at joe@NWRC.org.