ACT, Inc., Iowa City, Iowa, and The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), Gainesville, Fla., have announced a partnership designed to provide a common entry point to construction industry careers. ACT will apply its research and workforce readiness solutions to assist NCCER in ensuring that prospective and current construction industry workers have the essential foundational skills to succeed in NCCER-accredited training courses and on the job.
Once launched, NCCER will begin issuing National Career Readiness Certificates to trainees to document their foundational skills. The National Career Readiness Certificate is comprised of three of ACT’s WorkKeys® assessments measuring skills that ACT research has shown to be essential to workplace success. The assessments include reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information. Based on these WorkKeys scores, NCCER trainees may earn a certificate. This certificate serves as a nationwide entry point for further training. It is a credential that is portable, verifiable and easily understood. More than 1,200 construction sector jobs have been analyzed by ACT-trained profilers. The recommended skill levels for these jobs are included in ACT’s JobPro database.
“As the economy rebounds, many construction jobs with excellent salaries will need qualified applicants,” said Don Whyte, NCCER president. “These tough economic times call for clear pathways to help new and transitioning workers prepare for jobs in construction. The accreditation system we’ve built at NCCER offers just that, but too many of our trainees and workers simply can’t succeed in the coursework if their foundational learning and workplace skills are lacking. The WorkKeys assessments ACT has built and refined over almost 20 years of solid research in the workplace will help indicate that our trainees are ready and able to succeed. The assessments and the National Career Readiness Certificate provide a consistent measure of skill levels, and help identify specific training needs.”
Martin Scaglione, ACT workforce division president and chief operating officer, said construction industry employers who sponsor NCCER training for their workers can be confident that individuals who earn the National Career Readiness Certificate from ACT will have the core foundational and learning skills they need to begin successful career paths in the industry. “Plus, the Certificate is valuable as a common standard of measurement for assessing the foundational skill levels of workers transitioning from other occupations to careers in construction,” said Scaglione.
Individuals may qualify for one of four levels of the National Career Readiness Certificate: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. NCCER has more than 600 accredited training sponsors, 400 accredited assessment centers, 4,200 certified Master Trainers and 40,000 certified Craft Instructors nationwide. “Once we have the program fully launched, our sponsors will see real benefits from this initiative. I am confident that our instructors and trainees will recognize the value of this clearly defined entry point as a way to help our industry face today’s challenging globalization, and the need for workers who can master the technologically sophisticated equipment essential to our industry,” said Whyte.
“We are very excited about this relationship with NCCER,” added Scaglione. “The National Career Readiness Certificate is the common denominator that is missing from so many career pathway structures. As NCCER begins integrating ACT solutions into its already established curricula for craft accreditation, we anticipate opportunities for additional assessments, joint research, and policy-making initiatives to help America’s workers succeed.