ACT Workforce Newsletter
Welcome to the ACT Workforce Newsletter
A digest of news, events, research, and information you can use.
In this issue:
- Upcoming Events
- ACT Workforce Summit – Last Call for Early Bird Registration Rates
- Curriculum Profiling + Prior Learning Assessment
- Two Ways to Save on ACT® WorkKeys® Profiling Training
- Why Are These Skills Essential?
- ICYMI: We Launched a Workforce Podcast
- Work Ready Communities in Three States Win Community Impact Awards
- Opportunity to Expand Apprenticeship Programs
- Ask the Expert
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2019 Kentucky ACT Symposium
October 16, 2019
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, Kentucky
2019 Alabama ACT Conference
December 11, 2019
University of Alabama
2020 Ohio ACT Conference
January 28-29, 2020
ACT will be exhibiting at this upcoming conference.
Will you be there? Stop by to say hi!
2019 AASD/NASTA Annual Education Conference from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
August 25-28, 2019
Hilton Charlotte Center City, Charlotte, NC
Our industry is not a one-size-fits-all. As you know, workforce development involves so much more than just employers and job seekers. The charge is wide and deep, and ACT understands that challenge.
The ACT Workforce Summit is a one-of-a-kind annual event to assemble the many different stakeholders involved in workforce development. Head to Charlotte in October to network and collaborate with your fellow educators, economic developers, employers, Work Ready Community leaders, human resource specialists, and industry partners.
Although time is limited and budgets are tight, we know that this annual event is worth your time. We want you join us so we put together some details and a template to help you solicit approval from your supervisor. Feel confident communicating that ACT Workforce Summit is:
- A unique gathering of the best in the business
- Three full days of learning
- Built around human connections that last
Here is a downloadable letter we wrote to help you justify your trip. Fill in the missing areas to personalize your letter, send it to your manager, and you’re all set.
We’ve learned that students who earn credit through prior learning assessment (PLA) persist to graduation at a greater rate than those who do not earn credit. Did you know that the American Council on Education recommends college credit for levels of the ACT WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®)?
The NCRC demonstrates college-level competency, predicts future success, and can generate revenue for your institution. We invited a few experts to present what they’ve learned about prior learning assessment and post-secondary performance:
- Beth Doyle is the Vice President of Higher Education Services with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
- Lynette Livingston is the Executive Dean of Business, Arts, Sciences and Academic Initiatives at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Mary LeFebvre is a Principal Research Scientist for ACT Policy
Recently, we sat down again with Lynette to learn more about how Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is blazing a new trail by awarding college credit for core courses using prior learning assessment – more commonly reserved for electives. Learn how it all started with curriculum profiling.
Click to Tweet: "Students are much more likely to stay in their degree and finish their degree when they earn credit for #priorlearning.” –Lynette Livingston @3llivingston from @CVTC 🎧 Tune into Episode 3 of #ReadyforWork for the whole story: http://bit.ly/2Snc3bE
Did you know that you can save money by having a local Profiling Training session? If at least 8 people in an area want to be trained as a WorkKeys Profiler, ACT trainers can come to you for the final component of the Profiling Training. Although this portion of the training is typically held at ACT headquarters in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT Industrial/Organizational Psychologists will travel to you to conduct the onsite portion of the Profiling Training workshop. For more information, call 319-337-1724 or email email@example.com.
Additionally, ACT is excited to share a change in pricing to assist more individuals to work in their communities as WorkKeys Profilers. As you may know, Profilers work with employers and learning institutions to identify WorkKeys and the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) skill requirements for job and training programs in their communities. To make the service more widely available, a 50% discount on the training fee (making the fee $1050) is now available to clients who come from areas without any Profilers.
The discount is only available when clients attend the hands-on workshop portion of the training at ACT headquarters in Iowa City, Iowa. Please note: the annual license renewal fee is not included in the discount. For questions regarding eligibility, please call ACT at 319-337-1724 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Are These Skills Essential?
There is a lot of talk around the importance of essential skills and why measuring what are commonly known as soft skills matters. We believe that soft skills are essential to the success of your teams, your business, and your bottom line.
Here are a few recent articles from industry that we’ve found enlightening:
- Businesses Are Looking For These 5 'Soft Skills', According to LinkedIn
- Stop Calling Them Soft Skills; They’re Essential
- ‘Upskilling’ Your Workforce? Start by Measuring the Skills They Have Now
Measure What Matters
Critical thinking, determination, teamwork, and decision-making—they’re all known as essential skills. And they’re no longer optional. The best companies not only measure these skills, but find ways to strengthen them across their enterprise.
“At ACT, we had many discussions about how to refer to the important skills that Tessera Workforce measures. They are anything but soft, and most importantly, they are essential to success in life. With that in mind, we decided to call the critical constructs measured by Tessera Workforce ‘essential skills.’”
-Mary Fluharty, Director of Product Portfolio Management & Training at ACT
Guest Ed Morrison applies the approach of “Strategic Doing” to workforce and economic development. Applying this newer model of strategic planning opens the door to solve complex challenges through productive collaboration. Listen in to see how it can impact communities.
Guest Neil Reddy, CEO of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), shares how MSSC blazed the trail and created the gold standard for manufacturing skills. From career pathways to stackable credentials, the future of manufacturing is bright.
Guest Joe Sarubbi from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council shares why and how IREC created an interactive career map for the solar energy industry. Such a tool can demonstrate career paths and opportunity in any industry.
The winners of Trade and Industry Development magazine’s 2019 Community Impact Awards have been announced, and three of the Top 15 are in ACT Work Ready Communities. High profile economic successes earned LaSalle Parish, Louisiana; Washington County, Mississippi; and Pittsylvania County, Virginia the honor.
Now, in its 14th year, the publication honored projects around the country that promise—through influential community impact—to help shape the communities in which they are located, and in which they continue to develop and grow. The magazine showcased success stories of each location in both the print and digital issues.
Opportunity to Expand and Grow Apprenticeship Programs
At ACT, we are passionate about workforce development, lifelong learning, and student success. For over 25 years, we have partnered with schools, community colleges, and workforce programs to support and prepare learners for success in career pathways programs, credential attainment, and apprenticeship.
Did you know that the US Department of Labor has allocated nearly $200 million in funding for apprenticeship programs over the next three years and has set a goal of preparing nearly one million apprentices for work by 2022?
We want to partner with you to build successful work-based learning programs in your community. How can ACT Workforce Solutions impact your efforts?
- Alignment of programs and curriculum to the ACT WorkKeys skills levels, including the National Career Readiness Certificate, gives your students a nationally-recognized credential as they prepare to enter or grow in your local workforce.
- Improve retention and completion by integrating WorkKeys Assessments into your programs as an entry and/or exit requirement.
- Close the skills gap with WorkKeys®Curriculum and empower students to improve their skill levels as they progress through programs.
- Support your local business partners in finding, hiring, and retaining more skilled employees by training and preparing the future workforce with ACT Workforce Solutions.
Let's partner to help one million apprentices prepare for work by 2022.
“Integrating WorkKeys into our apprenticeship program ensures that students have the necessary skills for success on the job. WorkKeys provides a pathway for everyone through targeted training and remediation of essential competencies for successful employment.
The system also benefits employers as it ensures career seekers have the fundamental skills necessary for successful completion of the apprenticeship program and assists educational programs with curriculum design. WorkKeys is a successful workforce solution for career seekers, employers, and educational programs.”
-Tammy Green, Director of Workforce & IT Innovation: Career Skills & Adult Education, Metropolitan Community College, Douglas County, NE
Ask the Expert: Why should employers care about foundational skills?
We asked ACT Expert Helen Palmer, Director of Industrial/Organizational Psychology how foundational skills impact employers. She explains what foundational skills are and how they affect employee performance. Watch the video to see how foundational skills impact apprentices.