St. Clair County Community College nursing professor Kathy Peace demonstrates patient bathing to certified nurse aide program students. The college uses ACTs WorkKeys assessments to prescreen students for entry into its non-credit job training programs.
Tough economic times call for creative workforce solutions. Just ask Doreen MacDonald, the workforce development coordinator at St. Clair County Community College (SC4) in Port Huron, Michigan.
SC4 is one of many organizations that are thinking outside the box to help displaced workers find new jobs. The college uses ACTs WorkKeys assessments to prescreen students for entry into its non-credit job training programs, which include career firefighter, certified nurse aide, certified personal fitness trainer, computer and office skills for the administrative assistant, computer repair, culinary arts, medical coding and billing, medical receptionist, and pharmacy technician.
Participants take three WorkKeys testsApplied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. To qualify for a program, they must achieve specific scores based on the WorkKeys Occupational Profiles, which identify the skill levels required for certain jobs.
High interest and low capacity led us to the need for a tool that would pre-qualify people. Its typical for 45 people to apply for 20 spots in a class. Instead of accepting the first 20 people who register, we select people based on their WorkKeys scores, said MacDonald.
A secondary benefit of the program is the National Career Readiness Certificate. The certificate is especially important for those who are unable to get into a class. Many of our adult students have been out of school for so long, and the National Career Readiness Certificate allows them to be competitive with other workers, she said.
SC4s WorkKeys Service Center primarily serves displaced workers from the Big Three automakers and their suppliers. The center also offers other WorkKeys assessments, including Applied Technology, Listening, Observation, Teamwork, and Writing, and plans to use WorkKeys in credit programs in the future.