For Job Seekers: WorkKeys and
Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates

 

 

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Career Readiness

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11,487
TOTAL
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   The abilities to learn, listen, communicate, work in teams, and solve problems are essential assets for any worker, regardless of career choice. But how do you walk into a job or promotion interview fully confident that you possess these skills?

    That's what WorkKeys ® and the Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates are all about.: An assess-ment and certification process that measures skills that employers believe are critical to job success. These skills are valuable for any occupation, skilled or professional, and at any level of education.

    Companies across the United States are using this type of assess-ment and certification process to hire new employees, assess incumbent workers, and increase salaries or position responsibilities.

Oklahoma CRC
Employer Partners

 

NewVideo

Career Readiness Certificate

Interview with Susan Kuzmic--CRC Project Specialist

We visit with Susan Kuzmic, Career Readiness Certificate Project Specialist at the OK Dept of CareerTech, about how "WorkKeys" is helping communities become "work ready."

View Video


Career Readiness Certificate Works:
Testimony from the Front Line - Employees

OG&E logo

OG&E Energy Corp
Oklahoma City, OK

Nathan Hooper picture

"After OG&E came to North Dakota recruiting and required applicants to take the WorkKeys assessments. I wanted to work there. WorkKeys tested my abilities, assessed my strengths and weaknesses. I was surprised that I could remember statistics and mathematics and applied technology. It also prepared me for the face-to-face interviews.”
Nathan Hooper, Auxiliary Operator Trainee, OG&E, Sooner Power Plant


"I wanted to know where my strengths were and where I could expand my skill base after graduating from a two-year online program at Bismarck State College in North Dakota. When OG&E came for interviews, I learned hiring was contingent upon WorkKeys. I took the assessments because I wanted to move to Oklahoma and work for them. I like my job."
Rebecca Hartley, Auxiliary Operator Trainee, OG&E Sooner Power Plant

Rebecca Hartley picture

Pelco Products logo
Pelco Products, Inc.
Edmond, Oklahoma

 

Jeny Rogers

"Employees who take the WorkKeys test are able to apply and move around in the company when there is an opening. When I think about where I started – assembly – and where I am now at Pelco seven years later – it’s unbelievable. I never dreamed I’d become a team leader in the shipping department."
Jeny Rogers, Shipping Team Leader , Pelco Products, Inc. Edmond, OK


"Starting out as a line worker six years ago, hired through a temp service, I took the WorkKeys assessment two years ago and was surprised at my high score. Since then, I’ve become a team leader with the respective pay increase.

WorkKeys lets us know where we stand. We use a lot of math and reading on the job, but most important is locating information by serial and part numbers on different racks in stock.

Pelco is progressive. I see where the company is heading and want to be a part of that. I take it seriously. That’s why I’m where I am in the company now. I love my job and am still polishing my skill level. There’s always room for improvement. My goal is to become a department manager."
Earnest Brumley, Team Leader, Pelco Products, Inc. Edmond, Oklahoma

Earnest Brumley picture

 

 

 

 

 


 

Stonehouse Marketing

StoneHouse Marketing Services
Norman, OK

 

"The operator job is not just about pushing buttons to make it run. You’re responsible for this $250,000 machine. Our side of the shop has six operators day and night.

A coworker and I worked with a WorkKeys job profiler to profile the operator job. Operators use reading, math and how to locate things – all areas of the WorkKeys test apply. Then, we asked if we could take the assessment and both earned the silver level. We want to take it again to go for the gold!

Since passing, I earn more respect with co-workers. The assessment brings operators up to certain standard and now we are getting a lot more production."
Clint Sanders, Machine Operator
StoneHouse Marketing Services, Norman

 

 

 


Alonzo Stephenson picture "I speak Spanish and English and help with translation for other employees who speak only Spanish. I took the WorkKeys assessment on reading math and how to locate information. The tests helped me with reading, to be able to follow the rules and for the job interview. Working at StoneHouse is good not only for the job experience but for staying out of trouble and earning money. And, I like the people here."
Alonzo Stephenson, Senior, Norman North High School
Part-Time Employee - StoneHouse Marketing Services, Norman

VF Jeanswear logo
VF Jeanswear Corp.
Seminole, OK Distribution Center
"When I picked up an application, the company was just starting to require the WorkKeys test and Career Readiness Certificate. So, before I applied, I took the test to get a head start just in case I was hired. That gave me a jump start and got me ready for just about anything they throw at me. It also helped me advance in my job and earn money faster. The test took about two hours. It was fairly difficult, especially the math. But in my job, I use all three areas we were tested for – reading, math and locating information – which is especially important in my job.Coming in to a new job “raw” takes longer to learn and can be frustrating so you may not stay too long. I like my job. I’ve worked in different places. Here, the boss makes it comfortable to come to him with questions and concerns. They spoil us. I plan to stay as long as they will let me."
Jeff Cheatwood, High Bay Operator,
VF Jeanswear, Seminole Distribution Center

Jeff Cheatwood picture

 

 

 

 


Ashley Morton picture " I’m a single mom and was surprised the company took me without a high school diploma, but required the WorkKeys assessment. I didn’t pass it the first time, so took the KeyTrain – and did! I like what I do. After two years working here, I am now earning $20 an hour and saving about $50 a week for tuition when I go back to school."
Ashley Morton, Dynamic Order Picker
with Ring Scanner VF Jeanswear, Seminole Distribution Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Stay tuned to this page because more questions will be added as necessary to ensure
we cover all the bases. Need an answer to a question that's not here? No problem, contact Susan Kuzmic, 405-809-3582.


Q
1: What is the Career Readiness Certificate program? 

Q 2: How does Career Readiness work? 

Q 3: What is the difference between the Career Readiness Certificate program and WorkKeys?

Q 4: What are Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates? 

.Q 5: What format is used for the assessments, and how long do they take? 

Q 6:
 Where are the assessments administered?

Q 7: Can an employer use Career Readiness exclusively and no other tools to hire for their company?

Q 8:
 How can Workkeys be used if a company is using a generic profile?

Q 9: Does the Career Readiness Certificate replace the need for other credentials like a high school diploma, GED, or college degree? 

Q 10: Who is driving Oklahoma's Career Readiness initiative? 

Q 11: What are the core areas or skills being assessed for the Career Readiness Certificates, and why those particular skills? 

Q 12: What if I want to determine whether I have any gaps in my skill levels before taking the actual assessments? 

Q 13: What types of training will be offered? 

Q 14: What costs are involved, and who pays? 

Q 15: How will having an Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate benefit me? 

Q1: What is the Career Readiness Certificate program? 
A
1: Designed by ACT, the company that developed the ACT assessment college entrance exam, Career Readiness measures workplace literacy and represents a widely accepted common language for skills definition among employers, educators/trainers, and potential/incumbent employees. 
With a database of more than 12,000 job profiles, Career Readiness identifies skills needed on the job, assesses your skill level, and helps identify training needed to close any gaps.

Q 2: How does Career Readiness work? 
A 2: Each Career Readiness assessment has a score level range. Career Readiness scores indicate your ability to perform more complex skills as the score levels increase. By comparing your skill levels with the skill levels required for the job, you and the employer can determine whether or not you are a good fit for that particular job.

Q 3: What is the difference between the Career Readiness Certificate program and WorkKeys?
A
3: The WorkKeys assessment system is an ACT nationally recognized program locally branded as Oklahoma's Career Readiness program.

Q 4: What are Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates? 
A 4: Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificates are portable credentials that confirm your possession of certain fundamental skills needed in the workplace. The Career Readiness assessment system is used to determine those skill levels. Depending on the scores, potential or incumbent employees receive one of these certificates:

  • Platinum: awarded to those who score at or above a level 6 in each of the core areas
  • Gold: awarded to those who score at or above a level 5 in each of the core areas.
  • Silver: awarded to those who score at or above a level 4 in each of the core areas.
  • Bronze: awarded to those who score at or above a level 3 in each of the core areas.

Certificates come in two different formats--an 8 by 10 certificate signed by the governor and a wallet-sized version. Each certificate is assigned a number for security and tracking purposes. 

When you complete an ACT registration form, you also create an account in the Oklahoma Job Link (Workforce Oklahoma) system. The Career Readiness information is uploaded into Oklahoma Job Link. An employer can place job openings and search for qualified candidates in Oklahoma Job Link.

Q 5: What format is used for the assessments, and how long do they take? 
A 5: Since you can see your scores instantly, the preferred assessment method is on a computer. However, if absolutely necessary, you can take the assessments with pencil and paper. In this case, it will take 10 days to receive your scores. The assessments take about 45 to 55 minutes each.

Q 6:
 Where are the assessments administered?
A 6:There are over 100 Oklahoma Career Readiness Assessment Sites across the state. To find the center closest to you click the link above or call 405-809-3582.

Q 7: Can an employer use Career Readiness exclusively and no other tools to hire for their company?
A 7:
 If the employer has had his company's specific job position profiled the answer is yes. If the employer is using a general profile not specific to their company, the answer is no. The job profiling component of the WorkKeys system is designed so that, when appropriately used, WorkKeys assessments will be job-related and meet the validity and fairness requirements described in the federal government's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) and enforced by the EEOC.

Q 8:
 How can Workkeys be used if a company is using a generic profile?
A 8: Using the WorkKeys library of occupational profiles rather than profiling the employer's specific job is appropriate and legal when the employer also uses additional hiring tools such as an interview, background check, application, resume review, etc. on the job candidate as part of the hiring decision. When using the generic profiles Workkeys cannot be used as the sole tool in making the hiring decision.

Q 9: Does the Career Readiness Certificate replace the need for other credentials like a high school diploma, GED, or college degree? 
A 9: Absolutely not. The certificate is a supplemental credential, and isn't intended to be used as a substitute for a high school diploma, GED, or college degree. However, for those who don't have any other credentials, the certificate represents a solid start toward future training and educational attainment.

Q 10: Who is driving Oklahoma's Career Readiness initiative? 
A 10: This is an initiative of the Governor's Council for Workforce and Economic Development (GCWED), and their partners: Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Office of Handicapped Concerns, Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, and Workforce Oklahoma Centers.

Q 11: What are the core areas or skills being assessed for the Career Readiness Certificates, and why those particular skills? 
A 11: The Career Readiness assessments are as follows:

  • Reading for Information: measures the skills used when people read and use written text on the job. Texts include memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations.

 The test is made up of multiple-choice questions based on reading passages that reflect actual reading demands of the workplace. The reading materials at level 3 are short and direct. The material becomes longer, denser, and more difficult as readers move toward level 5.

  • Locating Information: measures the skills people use when they work with workplace graphics such as charts, graphs, tables, forms, flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, maps, and instrument gauges. You will be asked to find information in a graphic or insert information into a graphic. You must also compare, summarize, and analyze information found in related graphics.

At level 3, the graphics are simple, and you'll be asked to fill in missing information. At level 5, you will use the information in one or more complex graphics to draw conclusions and make decisions.

  • Applied Mathematics: measures skills used when applying mathematical reasoning and problem-solving techniques to work-related problems. The test questions require you to set up and solve the types of problems and perform the types of calculations that actually occur in a workplace environment.

You can use a calculator, and the formula sheet that includes all formulas required for the assessment is provided.
Of the thousands of jobs profiled nationally using Career Readiness, about 80% of them use these three core areas.

Q 12: What if I want to determine whether I have any gaps in my skill levels before taking the actual assessments? 
A 1
2: Pre-assessment, which is an abbreviated version of the actual assessments, can be taken to determine current skill levels and if additional training is necessary. Individuals can pre-assess at Oklahoma Career Readiness Assessment Sites.

Q 13: What types of training will be offered? 
A 1
3: Skills upgrade training will be provided using ACT approved curriculum. Also, OKWorks and Adult Education in Oklahoma will offer ACT approved curriculum for skills upgrade.

Q 14: What costs are involved, and who pays? 
A 1
4: At this time, there is no charge for taking the three assessments for the Career Readiness Certificate.

Q 15: How will having an Oklahoma Career Readiness Certificate benefit me? 
A 1
5: A portable skills credential that's easily and nationally recognized facilitates job placement, retention, and advancement in our mobile society. For high school and college students, this assessment and certification process provides them with an objective view of what they can do and what they need to improve upon in order to maximize their chances of having successful careers. Other benefits include:

  • Confidence that your skills meet the needs of employers in Oklahoma and across the country.A clear road map for skill improvement and training and education needs.
  • Improved opportunities for career changes and advancement.

 

Resources 

 

Contact

Susan Kuzmic, Oklahoma Department of CareerTech
405-809-3582
skuzm@okcareertech.org