"Today, more than ever, skills matter."
Today, more than ever, skills matter. The question is: which skills? And, the answer isn’t “soft skills. Nor is it “hard skills”. Unquestionably, employers are seeking new hires who possess both and who are ready to hit the ground running. Unfortunately, job candidates more often than not 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 NWRC is a non-profit workforce development, training and advocacy organization founded in 2006 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a consortium of state workforce agencies in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Washington, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia. Employers across industries, chambers of commerce, unions, educators, and workforce training professionals were engaged in the design at each stage of the five-year development process. In 2015, the NWRC partnered with WIN Learning (WIN), a national career readiness solutions company, as the sole source provider of the National Work Readiness Credential (Credential).
The 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, listening, and situational judgement 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.
Employers should know that the Credential is currently being implemented in 28 states by high schools, adult education programs, juvenile justice and corrections providers, other community-based workforce development organizations and workplaces. Moreover, the NWRC is –
- providing educator and workforce professionals highly effective tools to advance student / jobseeker career readiness;
- giving program participants a competitive edge in pursuing post-secondary education / 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.
Is the Credential valid and reliable? Indeed, it is. 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.
Please join us in our collaboration with workforce development, education, economic development, and business leaders nationwide to meet America's workforce challenges. To remain competitive, our nation must address 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.
The National Workforce Council