ACT, Inc. Announces Job Profile Milestone

Posted July 29, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT announced today that it has completed more than 15,000 detailed job profiles as part of its Workforce Development initiative, representing one of the largest specific skill databases in existence today.

These profiles, created over a 15-year period, were produced by ACT-trained profilers to analyze each job with the help of subject matter experts—employees already doing the job successfully and their management—to define the tasks and skills needed to perform the job successfully. By matching the job profile information with individual scores on ACT-developed WorkKeys® assessments, employers are equipped to make reliable decisions about hiring, training, and program development needs.

“Given that every profiler must undergo seven weeks of training, and given that each job profiled requires a significant investment of employee-hours to complete, this milestone is certainly noteworthy,” stated Martin Scaglione, president and chief operating officer of ACT’s Workforce Development Division. “The extensive task and skill analysis that must be documented and approved before each Job Profile Report is produced, results in a powerful link between the specific tasks of the job and the precise WorkKeys scores that must be attained to ensure success in that position.”

Oliver Cummings, ACT assistant vice president, Workforce Development stated, “The jobs and companies in ACT’s JobPro database represent all industry supersectors, and all types and sizes of the businesses in America. The amassed data on job tasks, the criticality of those tasks and the skills needed to perform on the job—all based on the input of workers performing those tasks successfully—can be used to inform industry and governmental decision makers about the current state of America’s jobs in ways that are not otherwise available. What’s more, the ability to put job skill requirements and prospective employee skill levels on the same metric is one of the things that makes the WorkKeys System unique.”

Scaglione added, “With these profiles, and the thousands more we’ll add over the next several years, employers can take much of the guesswork out of high-stakes decisions like hiring and promoting. ACT’s WorkKeys assessments truly are the gold standard in skills testing, helping America’s businesses build a high-performance workforce.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET (Occupational Information Network) database describes occupations in terms of the skills and knowledge required, how the work is performed, and typical work settings. The O*NET database, which supersedes the 70-year-old Dictionary of Occupational Titles as America’s occupational classification system, covers more than 900 occupations in 23 job families. The ACT database covers all 22 of the civilian job families of this classification system; only the Military Specific Occupations are not covered. In the past two years alone, more than 3,000 profiles have been added, covering about 40% of the occupations in the O*NET System. Recent additions to the database were made in all 22 of the civilian job families, and now include, for example:

  • More than 95% of the Production occupations
  • Over 2/3 of the Management occupations
  • Half or more of the Office and Administrative Support; Installation, Maintenance, and Repair; Sales and Related; Food Preparation and Serving; and Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance occupations
  • About 1/3 of the Construction and Extraction; Architecture and Engineering; Business and Financial Operations; and Farming, Fishing and Forestry occupations

In addition to the range of industry supersectors and job families included, the additions were gathered from a broad range of all types and sizes of companies, governmental and other organizations. New profiles are added on an on-going basis, providing a continuously updated view into the task and skill requirements of America’s jobs.

“The ACT WorkKeys Assessment System provides an affordable, reliable and objective measuring tool for American business employees and employers,” added Scaglione. “Job seekers can determine what their skill levels currently are and where they need to be to succeed in a particular career. Employers benefit from the added confidence that a candidate for hire or promotion is ready for the position and able to perform. We believe this substantial and growing database of more than 15,000 profiles positions ACT as the leader in workforce data, linking specific job requirements to specific skill levels.”