ACT Workforce Newsletter

Welcome to the ACT Workforce Newsletter!

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

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Empower your Business with Tools to Assess, Certify, and Grow Talent in Your Workforce

As a workforce professional, you know the challenges of hiring and developing skilled employees and maintaining the growth and retention of talent. Your time is too valuable to spend cobbling together ad hoc solutions that don’t give you a true holistic picture of the skills and readiness of your workforce. Today, it’s more important than ever to identify, upskill, reskill, and develop your workforce to keep pace with the competition.

Our mission is to help create thriving workforce ecosystems that foster economic growth. In the pursuit of closing the skills gap, employers, educators, and economic developers work together for each ecosystem to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. ACT offers the only comprehensive workforce development solution for businesses and communities.

  • Supported by 483 counties across the country
  • Recognized by 25,000 businesses
  • Credentials awarded to 4.7 million individuals starting or advancing their careers

Watch the video to see how ACT offers leading workforce development solutions for businesses and communities.

Watch the video to see how ACT offers leading workforce development solutions for businesses and communities.


What’s Important for Success in Future Jobs?

Career readiness continues to be a hot topic, and that’s because navigating the landscape is not easy or straightforward. New research from ACT can help – and you can’t find this information anywhere else.

Choosing a career can be a daunting task, especially for high school students and adult learners who want to explore career options that may not require a four-year degree. To aid career navigation, or for counselors, students, or individuals looking for a job change, The Condition of Career Pathway Readiness in the United States provides much-needed insight. The research report offers a method to the madness of what career readiness means for 16 different career clusters.

“The data we are presenting in the report is providing some numbers, some methodology, some method behind the madness of trying to figure out what different types of career readiness could mean for different stakeholders and for different use cases.”

- Mary LeFebvre, Principal Research Scientist for ACT Policy

You're Invited!

Save the Date for the 2020 ACT Workforce Summit
October 26-28, 2020
Memphis, Tennessee

We hope you’ll grace us with your presence at this one-of-a-kind event, and we couldn’t be more excited to gather in this Southern city.

2020-10-26 09:00:00 2020-10-28 17:00:00 America/New_York ACT Workforce Summit See you at the 2020 ACT Workforce Summit http://act.org/workforcesummit Memphis, Tennessee ACT, Inc. brian.miller@act.org


Get a taste of what the ACT Workforce Summit is all about. Here are just a few of the speakers we hosted at the 2019 Summit in Charlotte.

Intentional Diversity and Inclusion with Sherrell Dorsey

Intentional diversity and inclusion go beyond company culture; they make up a set of values, leadership, and authenticity. Sherrell provides tips for how to make diversity and inclusion more authentic and strategic.

Career-Connected Learning with Guest Hans Meeder

Why are so many well-educated and well-supported American youths struggling to make successful transitions to adult life? It’s an important question and the first that Hans Meeder asked at the Summit.

Workforce Response to Tennessee Opioid Crisis with Lottie Ryans and Mark Stevans

A high prevalence of prescription drug abuse has created an unhealthy workforce in northeast Tennessee. Listen to see how the region is learning how to contend with the impact that the opioid crisis has on its workforce.

Work Ethic for the 21st Century with Josh Davies

More and more, employers are finding it challenging—borderline impossible—to find people with the skills required for on-the-job success. Josh Davies explained the number one characteristic today’s employers are looking for: work ethic.

The NCRC Plays Important Role in Annual State of the States Report Criteria

The US workforce represents perhaps our country’s most valuable asset. How valuable? Check out Site Selection magazine’s annual State of the States Report. The report focuses on data from the past year to provide a snapshot of each state’s business climate.

Among the ranking criteria is the ACT® WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®). The scoreboard is determined by ranks in the following:

  • Higher Education R&D Expenditure
  • Tax Foundation’s 2020 State Business Tax Climate Index
  • Percent improvement in the NCRC
  • Workers' Compensation Premium Rate
  • Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost
  • Fiscal Health

See how your state ranks.

Hiring for Skills is a Win-Win for This Multinational Company

Finding the right workers to fill vacant positions can be a challenge. When it comes to hiring, Daikin America focuses on people-centered management. This Decatur, Alabama-based company relies on WorkKeys to fill vacant positions with the right people.

Daikin America finds this success in its collaboration with Calhoun Community College, where Denny Smith manages a revenue-producing test center. Denny stresses the important role that the Profiler plays in the process.

"Without a job profile, there is no baseline or average to tell potential applicants what is required for employment opportunities," Denny says. "If you are interested in applying for a job with Daikin America, the required scores are printed in Sunday's paper. It's all because a job profiler met with those incumbent employees and they have determined what is required for hiring and selection purposes."


The ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments at Calhoun Community College are among many tools Daikin uses in the hiring process. The assessments measure skills that employers need to consider for successful employment. These skills – Workplace Documents, Applied Math, and Graphic Literacy – are required for 85% of the jobs around the country.

Daikin experienced significant gains in their processes after implementing the ACT WorkKeys system.

More About Denny

  • Certified WorkKeys Profiler
  • Administered over 50,000 assessments
  • Completed approximately 300 profiles in over 15 states


"Given that unemployment is at an all-time low, it gives applicants who are not traditionally being considered for certain positions, such as the underemployed, an opportunity to advance their career where they otherwise wouldn't have been able to."

-Dr. Denny Smith, Director of Testing and Assessment at Calhoun Community College


Build a Stronger Workforce and Create a New Revenue Stream

One key to building a stronger workforce is assessing capabilities of workers and potential workers, and to provide opportunities for growth if workforce skills are found to be lacking. As a WorkKeys Profiler, you will help employers identify the skills needed for their jobs and create an additional revenue stream for your organization. Depending on the local market, profilers can usually cover the one-time training fee ($2,100) and the annual software license fee ($1,600) by conducting one to two profiles annually.

For a limited time, the training fee for ACT WorkKeys Profiling training is discounted if there are no/few currently authorized Profilers in your area – at 50% off the regular price. The training is a combination of distance learning activities, webcasts, and an onsite workshop – typically held at ACT’s corporate headquarters in Iowa City, Iowa. Contact ACT to determine if you are eligible for the discounted fee.

Also, ACT can come to you! 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 will travel to you to conduct the onsite component of the Profiling Training. Please note: the discounted training fee applies only to onsite workshops held at ACT headquarters in Iowa City.

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

  • Registration Deadline: February 28, 2020
  • Distance Learning begins: March 16, 2020
  • Onsite Workshop at ACT in Iowa City, Iowa: April 28-May 1, 2020

Meet an ACT-Authorized WorkKeys Profiler: Chris Manheim

We sat down with one of our partners in the field to learn more about his experience as a WorkKeys Profiler. In addition to his work as an ACT-Authorized WorkKeys Profiler, Chris is a certified economic developer with decades of experience consulting with clients to address various workforce development needs. Here’s what he shared:

Question: What’s the best part about being a Profiler?

Answer: One of the best things about Profiling is that my school district was not the only school using Profiling and WorkKeys tools. Because of my prior experience designing customized training programs for clients, I’ve been able to conduct profiling activities for other educational institutions and workforce agencies in Illinois and Indiana, develop customized training, and provide other consulting services.  Another thing I really appreciate about profiling is that many employers across the country use this tool. Traveling and working with human resource professionals and plant managers across the country is just fun!

Question: How have your clients benefited from Profiling?

Answer: The Holland Board of Public Works (BPW) is a public utility in Holland, Michigan, and recently opened a modern natural gas electric plant after retiring their power plant.  Years ago, BPW had profiled several jobs and those profiles needed to be updated due to changes in the tasks performed and the WorkKeys skills required. Further, BPW needed profiles for jobs that had not existed at the time of the initial profiles. This was a wonderful experience:  great people, interesting union apprentice jobs that require a great deal of cognitive knowledge, skill, and judgment. In fact, Fred McConnel and Jasen Jones from ACT Work Ready Communities www.workreadycommunities.org and I presented a BPW case study at the International Economic Development annual conference last October.

“It’s hard to overstate the value of establishing clear and defensible skill requirements for your job classifications.  Having a WorkKeys job profile and requiring candidates to demonstrate the skill levels established in the profile is foundational to improving the overall skill level of your workforce.”

-Jon Hoffman (SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CAPM),
Holland BPW Human Resources Manager

Chris Manheim
President of Manheim Solutions, Inc

Product Spotlight: ACT® WorkKeys® Profiling

Identify the WorkKeys Skills Required for Your Jobs

Understanding the skills required for success in new and open positions and determining which individuals are the best fit for jobs can be challenging.

ACT® WorkKeys® Profiling analyzes specific job tasks and links the required skill level with the ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments to pinpoint benchmarks for hiring, recruiting, advancement, and training.
Interested in more information about WorkKeys Profiling? Want to become an ACT Job Profiler?

Upcoming Events

ACT State Organizations Events 

Event Date Location Registration
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 2-3, 2020 Henderson State University in Arkadelphia Register Here
2020 Oklahoma ACT Conference March 5, 2020 Oklahoma State University in Stillwater Register Here
2020 Louisiana ACT Conference March 11, 2020 Pennington Center in Baton Rouge Register Here
2020 Iowa ACT Conference March 11, 2020 The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in 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
Educating for Careers Conferences February 27-29, 2020 Long Beach Convention Center Learn More
The Forum powered by National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) March 21-24, 2020 Washington, DC Learn More

ACT will present sessions on "Proven Work-Based Models Leveraging National Certification and Apprenticeship," "Creating Career Structures for Today's Workforce for High School Students," and more!