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Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate. Changes in Workforce Needs. 1955. 2005. 50 Years. Message from Employers. Today's employers are sending the message that they cannot find qualified applicants for many of their job openings, citing reasons such as poor

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Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate

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Message from Employers

Today's employers are sending the message that they cannot find qualified applicants for many of their job openings, citing reasons such as poor

reading, writing, math and basic employment skills.

Source: Educated work force essential to state's economic prosperity 12/19/2005 Lexington Herald Leader

manufacturers report
Manufacturers Report
  • Inadequate basic employability skills – 69%
  • Inadequate reading/writing skills – 32%
  • Inadequate math skills – 21%
  • Inadequate oral communications skills- 17.5% Source: National Association of Manufacturers – The skills gap
need for a better trained workforce
Need for a Better-Trained Workforce

In a recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), human resource professionals said that the skills of more than 60 percent of their job applicants are deficient.


U.S. Dept of Education Report

Their research reports that 7 out of 10 students graduate from high school without completing the courses they need to succeed in college or the workplace.

Source: Educated work force essential to state's economic prosperity 12/19/2005 Lexington Herald Leader


Business and education haven’t talked

with each other about their needs

causing a disconnect between the supply side (education) and demand side (employers) standards

is there a common language
Is there a common language?

Employers say “New hires need more math.”

Educators ask “How much more?”

Employers say “We need better reading skills.”

Educators ask “How much better?”

We all know these can be endless discussions.

we need a trusted common language
We need a trusted common language.
  • What do we mean by Qualified Candidates?
    • New hires
    • Promotions and internal moves
    • Career development programs
    • Occupational training
    • Job specific training
    • How do we measure qualifications?
we need a trusted common language1
We need a trusted common language.
  • Do employers have Qualified Candidates?
    • How successful are training classes?
    • Are all employees prepared for audits?
    • Are team leaders helping weak employees too much?
    • Are data entry errors hurting the information system?
    • Having trouble with hiring, promoting, or training?
  • Again, how do we measure qualifications?
how do we know
How do we know…

…what skills are needed?


ACT Developed

A Measuring Stick – a Skills-based Ruler

  • Simple to understand
  • Validated by research
  • Link job requirements with skills
  • Common language for educators and employers
oklahoma launches skills assessment and certification program
Oklahoma Launches Skills Assessment and Certification Program

The Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development and many of its partner agencies rolled out a system of assessment and certification designed to meet the needs of both employees and employers in October 2006.


Career Readiness


oklahoma s career readiness certificate crc program
Oklahoma’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) Program


  • A career-readiness certificate program with a portable credential documenting fundamental skills required by employers
  • Using the assessment system to validate the skills and skill levels of job seekers and compare them to the skills needed for jobs in Oklahoma today and in the future.
3 workkeys foundational skills used for crc
3 WorkKeys Foundational Skills Used for CRC

• Reading for Information (RI)— measures the skills used when people read and use written text to do a job.

• Locating Information (LI)— measures the skills people use when they work with workplace graphics such as charts, graphs, tables, forms, and diagrams

• Applied Mathematics(AM) — measures skills used when applying mathematical reasoning and problem-solving techniques to work-related problems.

oklahoma career readiness certificate1
Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate

Applied Mathematics (AM)

Reading for Information (RI)

Locating Information (LI)

Foundational Skill Assessments



6’s and above


5’s and above


4’s and above


3’s and above


number of certificates issued
Number of Certificates Issued





Total # Issued


Since 2006

As of 6-30-11


What is an ACT WorkKeys Job Profile?

The ACT WorkKeys job profiling service offers a concrete

way for businesses to analyze the skills needed for

specific jobs and to describe those needs to job

applicants. By comparing job profile information withindividuals’ scores on the WorkKeys assessments,

businesses can make reliable decisions about hiring,

training, and program development.


What Makes Up a Job Profiling Process?

Key Steps to Job Profiling- Creation of an Initial Task List- Task analysis- Skill Analysis- Documentation

The profiler obtains information about the job to be profiled, schedules the profiling session, explain resources and subject matter expert (SME) requirements, and schedules a tour of the incumbents’ workplace.The time required to complete a profile depends on the complexity of the job,the number of skills profiled, and the availability of the subject matter experts (SME’s).

so are these tests designed for only low level blue collar jobs
So are these tests designed for only low-level, blue-collar jobs?
  • Not at all
  • 16,000 unique job titles analyzed for job skills
  • Fastest growing for professional jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • The abilities to learn, listen, communicate, work in teams, and solve problems are important assets for any employee, regardless of career choice
compare the employer s need and individual skills find the gaps
Compare the Employer’s Need and Individual Skills – Find the Gaps




Gold Certificate

Employer Need Job profile




AssessIndividual Skills

Reading for Information

Locating Information

Applied Mathematics

Comparison shows where additional training is needed

so how do we fill in the gaps
So How Do We Fill in the Gaps?
  • KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 is a curriculum system that assists in improving a student's basic workplace skills to help them successfully qualify and retain a high-skilled, high-wage career.
  • KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 helps to close identified skills gaps
  • KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 offers performance-based education and training via an online computer program
shared benefits of crc
Shared Benefits of CRC
  • Employers get meaningful evidence of skills that lead to performance & reduced costs
  • Educators receive clear picture of employer expectations on skills needed on the job
  • Individuals gain rewards for achieving precise levels of skills that lead to jobs
employer benefits
Employer Benefits
  • Identifies key job skill requirements
  • Identify pool of skilled job applicants
  • Matches employee skills with job requirements
  • Align training for incumbent worker to specific job skill requirements
  • Communicate effectively with educators
  • Improves employee retention and performance
education s benefits
Education’s Benefits
  • Focus training curricula on identified skill gaps
  • Allows educators to demonstrate student progress
  • Linking academic achievement to career planning and job opportunities
  • Offers a common language with employers
  • Increase student employability
individual benefits
Individual Benefits
  • Distinguish individual as a qualified applicant
  • Identify individual skill gaps and train using KeyTrain/Career Ready 101 to close those gaps
  • Rank above other job applicants or incumbents for job placement or promotion

Companies across Oklahoma are using WorkKeys and the Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate to hire new employees, assess incumbent workers, and increase salaries or position responsibilities.


Oklahoma CRC Employer Partner – uses one of the CRC priority levels to assist in the hiring process:

RECOGNIZE the Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate when it’s attached to a résumé or presented by a potential employee.

REQUEST the Career Readiness Certificate from all job applicants and start including “CRC Certified Preferred” in your hiring announcements.REQUIRE the Career Readiness Certificate when hiring or evaluating current employees for jobs that are profiled by an ACT authorized WorkKeys job profiler.


The Employee’s



Job Specific Training

Steps to Success

College Degree / Industry Certification

Occupational Training

Locating Information (LI)

Applied Mathematics (AM)

Reading for Information (RI)

employee 1
Employee #1

" I’m a single mom and was surprised the company took me without a high school diploma, but required the WorkKeys assessment. I like what I do. After two years working here, I am now earning $20 an hour and saving about $50 a week for tuition when I go back to school."Ashley Morton, Dynamic Order Picker with Ring Scanner VF Jeanswear

employee 2
Employee #2

"Employees who take the WorkKeys test are able to apply and move around in the company when there is an opening. When I think about where I started – assembly – and where I am now at Pelco seven years later – it’s unbelievable. I never dreamed I’d become a team leader in the shipping department."Jeny Rogers, Shipping Team Leader Pelco Products, Inc. Edmond, OK

employer 1
Employer #1

“We need a better trained workforce, one that can transition from one job to the next. That is why OG&E now requires WorkKeys assessments for all job applicants. WorkKeys’ clear explanation helps both the job seeker and employer know exactly where more training is needed for a certain job.”

Gilbert HallSr. Training Coordinator 

OG&E, Muskogee Plant

employer 2
Employer #2

“The greatest benefit from the CRC is a more streamlined hiring process dovetailed with the low turnover rate. Increased productivity and employee retention reduces training costs. Because of the WorkKeys indicators, we can cherry pick who we want to hire.”

Chris Lange, Director of QualityAssurance, StoneHouse Marketing Services Norman, Oklahoma


Employer #3

Return On Investment:

…Productivity has increased 25 percent.

…Absenteeism decreased 10 percent

…Employee job satisfaction increased past 5 to 6 years.

…Employees are taking ownership and are more confident, involved and more part of the team.

…Beneficial impact – Employees now talk about needed training and overcoming the fear of change.

Jeff Parduhn, Owner and Controller,Pelco Products, Inc. Edmond, OK