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Work Ready Communities Initiative
Workforce Solutions is working towards developing Word Ready Communities! We'd like for you to join us in this endeavor!

Through a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas along with four other Texas areas (totaling 75 counties) has received funding through August 2012 to offer 1,600+ juniors, seniors, and out-of-school youth an opportunity to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) which was developed by the internationally recognized assessment organization American College Testing (ACT). Testing for this certificate is being coordinated through schools, organizations, and on an individual basis. Another important objective of the grant is to obtain letters of commitment from employers stating they will recognize and promote the certificate in their interview, hiring, and/or promotion processes. The services provided through the grant are focused on creating work-ready communities and continuing to build regional capacity for meeting the current and future workforce needs.

The NCRC provides fair and objective measurement of workplace skills and can be accepted nationwide. This credential is also used across all sectors of the economy at all levels. The NCRC is comprised of three assessments in the following areas: math, reading, and locating information which tap into the youth’s problem-solving and communication skills. When ACT profiled 6,000 jobs over five years they found that 77% of the jobs utilized these skills.

In order for youth to earn a certificate they will be provided with access to a web-based pre-assessment and remediation tools. Following these activities, they will take a three and a half hour proctored assessment which will indicate if they have earned one of the four certificate levels. Once earned, the certificate is good for five years. Such testing normally costs $22 per person along with licensing fees; however, all testing expenses are covered under the grant. Testing is also coordinated and administered by Workforce staff at the participating school/organization.

Along with students earning career readiness certificates, there is also a focus on educating employers about the certificate and gaining their support in recognizing applicants/incumbents who obtain this credential. The certificate is intended to help employers make informed decisions in the screening and selection process, training and development, and succession planning. Employers throughout the region are being asked to sign a letter of commitment stating they will recognize and promote the NCRC as a valuable credential and take it into account during their interview, hiring, and/or promotion processes.

This initiative is designed to provide youth with an opportunity to identify, develop, and communicate essential workplace skills as well as gain regional employer support for a nationally recognized certificate. Several schools and employers throughout the 19 county region have committed to participate in this initiative. If you are affiliated with a school or organization and would like to offer this assessment, or are an employer and would like to sign a letter of commitment, please contact Garolyn Jergins, Readiness Navigator, at (325) 795-4327 or .

Additional Information:
-Interested in earning the NCRC? (For schools, organizations, and individuals)

-Interested in signing an employer letter of commitment?

-View list of employers recognizing the NCRC.

-Visit ACT's NCRC website.