Granholm encourages continuing education
Published 11:45 pm Sunday, October 17, 2010
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm Friday proclaimed the week of Oct. 17 as Career Readiness Certificate Week to encourage all Michigan citizens to realize the value of continuing their education and work toward earning credentials for the workplace. The week-long observance aims to increase awareness among employers, workers and educators about the proven program that certifies valuable workplace skills for maximum productivity in a tough economy.
“The Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate is now the state’s standard job readiness credential for workers,” said Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) Acting Director Andrew Levin. “This universal credential helps take the guesswork out of hiring and training, and assists employers in finding the skilled employees they need as they diversify and expand their businesses.”
A highlight of Career Readiness Certificate Week will be the 2010 Michigan NCRC Conference, the largest and most comprehensive conference of its kind that will take place Oct. 21-22 at the Lexington Hotel in Lansing. K-12/CTE educators, employers, community college staff, Michigan Works! staff, economic developers, human resource professionals, training coordinators and education/training policy leaders will learn about the implementation of the Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate and how and why it is important in education, training, employment and more.
The Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate (MI NCRC) is based on WorkKeys assessments developed by ACT, Inc. the nation’s leading job skills assessment system and focuses on three “real world” foundational skills that employers view as critical to success in the majority of jobs in today’s workplace: applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. The certificate complements any traditional academic credential such as a high school diploma, postsecondary degree or certification or GED. Certificates are awarded at four levels (platinum, gold, silver and bronze) based on an individual’s performance. Individuals with higher scores are prepared for a greater range of jobs or training programs.
Michigan has exceeded ACT’s national worker credentialing standards by adding Employability Skills training in ‘soft skills” such as teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking and problem solving. Through this training individuals can earn certification including 12 state-approved employability skills standards.
In addition to being invaluable as a workforce development tool, Levin said the MI NCRC is also an important economic development tool.
“Employers interested in improving their bottom line should definitely be requesting the Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate when hiring, training and promoting,” Levin said. “It will help them build a stronger workforce for their organization and for Michigan’s economy.”
The Council for Labor & Economic Growth, Michigan’s state workforce investment board, recommended the state of Michigan adopt a career readiness certificate statewide. The program, now in its second year, is part of Governor’s Granholm’s No Worker Left Behind Program where more than 142,828 people have enrolled in training for in-demand occupations, emerging industries and entrepreneurship since its inception in 2007.
DELEG’s Bureau of Workforce Transformation is charged with overseeing the NWLB initiative and the Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate program. Michigan is the first state to offer such a program in both its workforce and education systems.
The Michigan National Career Readiness Certificate, WorkKeys® assessments, and Employability Skills training and certification are available through the Michigan Works! Service Centers located statewide. Employers can call 1-800-285-WORKS (9675) or go to www.michiganworks.org for a listing of Service Centers.
The Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) is investing in Michigan’s future by preparing for the new energy economy, helping to create the jobs of today and tomorrow, ensuring that our children and adults have the skills these jobs demand, making Michigan a better place to do business, and training and placing those who need jobs now.
For more information about DELEG, please visit www.michigan.gov/deleg. For more information about the Michigan NCRC Conference go to www.michiganNCRCconference.com.