ACT Workforce Newsletter

Welcome to the ACT Workforce Newsletter!

A digest of news, events, research, and information you can use.

Three Key Trends We Learned from the Workforce Summit

The annual ACT Workforce Summit gives ACT staff an opportunity to interact and, most importantly, learn from individuals who are charged with creating a stronger, more robust, better-prepared workforce and an economy that works for all citizens.   

This year’s presenters and attendees came to Charlotte, North Carolina—our first-ever event in an ACT Work Ready Community—from diverse backgrounds in workforce, education, government, and economic and workforce development. They had plenty to say about where the workforce is headed and trends that should command our close attention.  

Fred McConnel, Senior Director of Workforce at ACT, writes about three key lessons we learned from this year’s presenters and attendees.  


Three Days of Sharing and Learning: A Summit Recap

The ACT Workforce Summit is a one-of-a-kind annual event designed to assemble the many different stakeholders involved in workforce development. When we come together to connect and share different perspectives, everyone walks away armed with practical takeaways and insight to improve their community.  

Watch the video for a quick synopsis of this year’s summit and find out why you should attend next year’s event!


Record Number of ACT Work Ready Communities Recognized at Summit

ACT recognized 49 newly certified and maintained ACT Work Ready Communities (WRC)—an all-time record—at this year’s ACT Workforce Summit. The summit’s annual luncheon recognizes participating WRC teams for their achievements during the past year, including counties and parishes that have reached their goals and became or continued as certified WRCs.   

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeff McCord, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, called the collaboration exemplified by these WRCs the “secret sauce” to economic success. “Business as usual won’t get us a different result,” McCord said. “Having common goals, metrics, and purpose is key—and then add people who are extraordinary, hardworking, and organizational.”   

Jeff McCord

How to Get Presentations from the 2019 Summit

Did you miss out on this year’s summit? Did you attend and want to share information with your colleagues? 

ACT President Finds Inspiration in Customer Success Stories

It’s easy for an executive to get lost in the demanding, broad responsibilities of the work and lose touch with the impact that your products actually have on the ground level, with the customers who use them. Suzana Delanghe, President of Measurement at ACT, traveled to Missouri to meet with some current WorkKeys customers. She left feeling inspired by the individual stories of employees and employers who have benefited greatly from the WorkKeys system.  

Expand Your WorkKeys Initiatives by Adding WorkKeys Profilers to Your Team!

Being a Profiler is rewarding! You will help employers identify the skills needed for their jobs, work with learning institutions to identify the entry requirements for training programs, and provide individuals with the information they need to succeed. Your work will help to align the efforts of your community to close skill gaps. Also, if there are no/few currently authorized Profilers in your area, you may be eligible for a 50% discount on the training fee (making the training fee $1,050).   

WorkKeys Profiling training is a combination of distance learning activities and webcasts and culminates with an onsite workshop—typically held at ACT’s corporate headquarters in Iowa City, Iowa.  

Did you know that you can save money on travel expenses by having the onsite workshop in your area?  If at least eight people in an area want to be trained as WorkKeys Profilers, ACT trainers can come to you for the onsite component of the Profiling training. Note that the discounted training fee applies only to onsite workshops held at ACT headquarters in Iowa City. 

To join the next class or get more information, click the link below or call 319.337.1724.

Deadline to register: January 3, 2020 

Distance Learning begins
January 20, 2020 

Onsite Workshop at ACT in Iowa City, Iowa: March 3–6, 2020 

ACT Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Last week was the US Department of Labor’s (US DOL) fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week. We learned at the ACT Workforce Summit that the landscape of work-based learning is changing. “Traditionally, apprenticeship programs have been reserved for construction trades, manufacturing, and other manual labor jobs,” writes Julie Gibson, Director of Workforce Development at ACT, in the ACT Leadership Blog. “The opportunities are changing to meet the demands of 21st-century jobs.” 
Gibson writes that the apprenticeship model is growing to meet demand in high-growth industries. “Apprenticeships span a variety of industries such as healthcare, information technology, cybersecurity, energy, hospitality, and much more. Research shows that 91% of apprentices continue employment after the conclusion of an apprenticeship program.” 

Read the blog to learn more about the future of apprenticeship, including the US DOL’s plan to add  1 million apprentices to the US workforce in the next three years. 

Learn about Career Pathway Education Models at Upcoming Conferences

Are you attending ACTE CareerTech VISION 2019, December 4–7, in Anaheim, California or the AACC Workforce Development Institute Conference, January 22-25, in Amelia Island, Florida?

Be sure to attend Dr. Cindy Hill’s presentation: “Proven, Work-Based Models Leveraging National Certifications and Apprenticeships.” Hill, of ACT’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology area, will present alongside partner Manufacturing Skill Standards Council CEO Neil Reddy about industry-specific career pathway education models and how they can provide students with the opportunity to both learn and earn by acquiring shorter-term credentials with clear labor market value. Participants will be provided with tools to identify quality, stackable credentials, and how to incorporate them into a youth apprenticeship program. 

Also, stop by Booth No. 629 to visit with ACT representatives at ACTE!

Success Story: Beating Turnover through Increasing Quality Hires

RoyOMartin®, a forestry and wood products manufacturer based in Louisiana, employs 1,200 workers, and holds a significant economic impact on its region. However, the company has faced costly employee turnover, especially when salaries, training, and downtime are factored in. RoyOMartin decided to reduce turnover and optimize training costs using ACT WorkKeys. 


  • 5% decrease in turnover 
  • $270,000 in savings over a three-year period 
  • 30% of employers hired from a program that uses the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) for selection 

Product Spotlight: ACT Tessera Workforce

Measure what matters and improve your workplace with ACT Tessera Workforce, the preeminent solution to improve your company’s competitive advantage and increase employee performance.  

Critical thinking, determination, teamwork, and decision-making—these skills are essential to the success of your business. The best companies not only measure essential skills but find ways to strengthen them across their enterprise.  

News Digest

ACT WorkKeys Shows More Skilled Graduates from Alabama High Schools

A higher percentage of Alabama high school seniors are graduating with the skills needed in the modern workplace, according to new results from the ACT WorkKeys assessment.  

The Alabama State Department of Education released the final results of all College and Career Readiness Indicators (CCRIs) for the high school seniors who graduated in May of 2018. The WorkKeys assessment is one of those CCRI measures. 


National Credential Shows Students Prepared to Join Workforce

More than 30 Oswego County high schoolers proved they already have the skills to join the workforce when they recently earned a national work-readiness credential. 

A total of 34 students in the Oswego County Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) received their ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) in a ceremony at Onondaga Community College after completing assessments determining their skills with Workplace Documents, Applied Math, and Graphic Literacy. The ACT WorkKeys initiative, which is partially funded by the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and Operation Oswego County, is offered at no cost to students or their families. 


Will Micro-Credentials Address the Skills Gap?

More and more companies are recognizing the skills gap in our workplaces. One way to close the gap might lie in tracking and verifying competencies. But how? 

Enter micro-credentials. Individuals are finding these digital badges provide a competitive edge. Companies are learning to provide incentive for internal skill development. See how micro-credentials might prepare future workforces with these trackable competencies. 

Upcoming Events

ACT State Organizations Events 

Event Date Location Registration
2019 Arizona ACT Summit
December 3, 2019 Desert Willow Conference Center Register Here
2019 Alabama ACT Conference December 10–11, 2019 University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa Register Here
2020 Texas ACT Summit January 10, 2020 Baylor University in Waco Register Here
2020 Nevada ACT Conference January 27, 2020 University of Nevada – Las Vegas Register Here
2020 Ohio ACT State Organization Conference January 28–29, 2020 Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel Register Here
2020 Arkansas ACT Summit March 3, 2020 TBA Save the Date
2020 Oklahoma ACT Conference March 5, 2020 Oklahoma State University in Stillwater Register Here
2020 Louisiana ACT Conference March 11, 2020 TBA Save the Date
2020 Iowa ACT Conference March 11, 2020 The Hotel at Kirkwood Center-Cedar Rapids Register Here
2020 Wisconsin ACT Conference March 23-24, 2020 Madison Marriot West Register Here

ACT will be exhibiting and presenting at these upcoming conferences.
Will you be there? Stop by to say hi!

Event Date Location Registration
Association for Career & Technical Education’s CareerTech Vision 2019 Conference 
December 4–7, 2019
Anaheim, California
Learn More 
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)  Workforce Development Institute 2020 
January 22-25, 2020
Amelia Island, FL
Learn More

Explore More Workforce Resources