The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council and several community partners have launched an initiative called Work Ready Spokane, which is designed to advance the region’s competitive position by providing workplace skill assessments that can be used by individual job seekers, employers, education, economic development, and workforce development. Work Ready Spokane was launched last year using ACT WorkKeys assessments.
In the past year, we’ve made significant gains with the program, including:
More than 700 job seekers have earned a National Career Readiness Certificate, a widely-recognized certificate that documents foundational workplace skills in reading, math and locating information.
A wide variety of industries in the region have found the program to be useful including aerospace, manufacturing, financial services, and construction.
Work Ready Spokane received a 2011 Governor’s Best Practice Award, which recognizes programs and projects that create additional jobs and economic activity throughout the state.
The Work Ready Spokane program manager has been hired by Everett Community College’s Air Washington program to replicate the Work Ready Spokane model throughout the state.
The SAWDC has also partnered with the statewide WorkReadyWA initiative. There are already more than 3,400 NCRC certified employees in Washington State due to pilot projects that tested the certification’s relevance and demand in the state. Work Ready Washington is seeking to bring that total to 32,000 over the next two years and is seeking support from 3,000 employers to publicly endorse the credential.
Governor Jay Inslee is now signing Platinum NCRC certificates earned by Washington workers. Governor Inslee said, "This new initiative is a result of our commitment to building a world-class business climate. The program boosts Washington's ability to compete as a business friendly state by helping to match qualified employees with world-class employers - a win for both workers and businesses."
Employers throughout the Spokane region are currently using WorkKeys® skill assessments as an integral part of their hiring and promoting standards. As a result, these companies have seen significant measurable improvements in employee turnover rates, on-the-job safety, absenteeism, employee morale, and costs relating to hiring and training. It is no secret that improvements in these areas lead to increased productivity which, in turn, benefits the company as well as the entire Spokane region.
Because no two businesses are completely identical in terms of their needs and individual job duties, we can use the WorkKeys® system to customize a solution to assist you in reaching your hiring goals and training needs. For more information on how you can use WorkKeys® in your organization, contact the SAWDC at (509) 533-8480. You may also download a guide for employers.
The National Career Readiness Certificate provides job seekers with an additional tool to use in your job search and also provides a uniform measure of the core competencies necessary for success in any given field of work. The National Career Readiness Certificate also serves as a way to stand out from other job applicants and provides a way of demonstrating your workplace skills to potential employers. Testing sessions have been scheduled each Tuesday at WorkSource Spokane. For more information, or to schedule a time to complete the assessments, contact the SAWDC at (509) 533-8480.