This week Missouri connected the dots on the economic development initiative Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) by including the ACT WorkKeys assessment into the Missouri School Improvement Program 5 (MSIP 5). This move by Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to adopt the ACT WorkKeys assessment demonstrates the department’s renewed focus on providing students with the necessary tools to be career ready.
How does the adoption of the WorkKeys help Missouri employers? The WorkKeys is part of the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates an individual’s skill level in critical areas such as applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. These are “real world” skills that employers seek from a prospective employee at all occupation levels in their business. Schools now have the ability and are empowered to encourage their students to take the WorkKeys assessment prior to graduation in order to graduate with a nationally recognized credential in hand, making them marketable to a future employer. Missouri companies like CG Power, Abel Manufacturing and Brewer Science have been using the WorkKeys and NCRC as a hiring and retention tool for years.
The ACT WorkKeys has been promoted in Missouri and across the nation as a tool in the employer and economic developer’s toolbox to strengthen and enhance the talent pipeline under the Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) project. Missouri is leading the nation in this effort with more than 1,380 employers in the state utilizing the WorkKeys assessment. Missouri is leading the nation in the number of employers that are involved in the program. The Missouri Chamber applauds the leadership by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for taking a step forward to help meet employers’ workforce needs.