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Workforce Development Professionals

:: Become further equipped to train people with
  the skills needed for entry-level jobs
:: Refer better-qualified job seekers to employers
:: Have a single set of standards to assess program
  performance and hold vendors accountable

The National Work Credential is the first national standards-based assessment for entry-level workers to provide a universal, transferable, national standard for work readiness. It’s based on a standard defined by business, and it reflects the knowledge, skills, and abilities that front-line workers, supervisors, managers, and other workforce experts agree are most important to successful performance of entry-level work. Entry level jobs are defined as non-supervisory, non-managerial, non-professional positions. These may be unskilled positions, or they may be skilled positions where the required job-specific skills can be learned while on the job.

This Credential is not intended to replace academics, high school, or postsecondary education. Instead, it addresses the ability of an individual to perform basic entry-level tasks.

The Benefits of the Credential
The National Work Readiness Credential benefits the public workforce development system by:
- Improving the focus, alignment, and accountability of the workforce development system
- Facilitating a common understanding among employers, workers and educators about the skills necessary to obtain entry-level employment
- Helping align the system to a common goal
- Helping to promote the development of training programs that are appropriate to the needs of employers and job seekers

Entry-level workers will also benefit from the Credential because it:
- Is the first step on a career path
- Identifies the skills they need to strengthen to carry out entry-level tasks successfully
- Provides the skills needed to actively pursue advancement in the workplace
- Demonstrates willingness to work and show initiatives

Getting the Credential
To obtain the Credential, job seekers must take an online test at an authorized location. The test should take job seekers about 2 1/2 hours to complete. It consists of four modules—situational judgment, oral language, reading with understanding, and using math to solve problems—which can be completed separately or all together.

The four test modules assess the nine skills that businesses from across industry sectors identified as critical for entry-level workers to succeed in today's workplace and global economy:
- Speak so others can understand
- Listen actively
- Solve problems and make decisions
- Cooperate with others
- Resolve conflicts and negotiate
- Observe critically
- Take responsibility for learning
- Read with understanding
- Use math to solve problems

Launching the Credential
The National Work Readiness Credential began a targeted “soft” launch in September 2006 in approximately 50 sites around the country. The full launch will begin in January 2007.

Initially, the National Work Readiness Credential will be administered through the public workforce systems in the six founding states: Florida, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the JA Worldwide high school curriculum.

Because the assessment will be available through a web-based delivery system via a secure server, it will be able to be administered by community colleges, One Stop Career Centers, other education and training providers, and employers.

For more information:
History of the National Work Readiness Credential

National Work Readiness Council
Phone 800.761.0907| Fax: 850.385.8546