Certificate gives workers proof of skills

Published 7:26 am Friday, May 15, 2009

Through Paul D. Camp Community College’s Division of Workforce Services, many options are available to prepare the work force and enhance economic development. Connecting business and industry with skilled workers who demonstrate proficiency in workplace readiness, the Career Readiness Certificate is a great example.

Career Readiness Certificate

The Career Readiness Certificate is a portable credential based on WorkKeys assessments that verify to employers that an individual possesses basic work force skills needed for 21st Century jobs. Recognized by thousands of companies nationwide, WorkKeys is a national job analysis and assessment system developed by American College Testing (ACT). To earn a Career Readiness Certificate, individuals undergo testing related to reading, applied math, and locating information through the WorkKeys system. These skill areas were identified as the most utilized assessments in the Occupational Profile database at ACT, which contains more than 13,000 job profiles.

Three Levels

Individuals can earn three levels of Career Readiness Certificates based on their test performance. The three levels standardize skills that indicate the certificate holder is job ready and allow individuals to advance in skill level to qualify for more jobs. The three levels include the bronze level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 30 percent of the jobs profiled by WorkKeys in these skill areas; the silver level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skill for approximately 65 percent of the profiled jobs; and the gold level, which indicates the certificate holder possesses core employability skills for approximately 90 percent of the profiled jobs.

For individuals who do not initially achieve the Career Readiness Certificate, assessment results reveal the training needed to achieve the skill levels required for obtaining the certificate. Paul D. Camp’s Division of Workforce Services offers training and education to assist certificate seekers in boosting their skill levels to obtain a certificate.

Solution to Workplace Challenges

For many employers, the Career Readiness Certificate is a solution for continuing workplace challenges. Finding people with the right skills, training and education is no easy task, and bridging the gap between an employee’s existing skills and those required on the job can be costly and time-consuming. Hiring for entry-level positions can pose additional challenges, as applicants often have little or no work history and employers have no immediate way to evaluate applicant skills. In addition, employers at a distance who are considering relocation or expansion use the skill level of the available work force as a deciding factor for the locations they choose.


Career Readiness Certificates give employers and career seekers a uniform, standard, and objective measure of key workplace skills. When an employer has individuals who are performing a particular job successfully and wants to hire others to expand that function, he can make arrangements to have a job profile completed to assess the skills needed and use them as a basis for testing for pre-employment. The results can also be used as a guideline for promotion.

For example, someone hired at the silver level can take classes to beef up his skills to acquire an objective measure to demonstrate advancement to the gold level and hence a new job.

Acquiring a Career Readiness Certificate allows career seekers to show prospective employers that they possess the basic skills they are looking for. And even if an applicant has a high school diploma, GED or a postsecondary degree, the Career Readiness Certificate verifies that he or she can handle the kinds of tasks that are common and needed in today’s workplace.

Individuals with Career Readiness Certificates demonstrate competency in workplace skills required by more than 85 percent of jobs across the country, and businesses receive the benefit of a better quality applicant pool.

For information on obtaining a Career Readiness Certificate by taking WorkKeys assessments, call Randy Betz, vice president of Workforce Development, at 569-6064.

For information on other options available at PDCCC, call 569-6700, or visit our Web site at www.pdc.edu.