ACT

February 2017

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News
Technical Manual Supplement Released for the ACT®

ACT began implementing a series of updates to the ACT test in the fall of 2015, including changes to the ACT writing test, reporting of new scores, inclusion of an online testing option for state and district testing, and enhancements to the student, high school, and college score reports. As a result, technical information about these updates are presented in a newly released supplement to the ACT Technical Manual.

The ACT Technical Manual Supplement is intended to accompany the ACT Technical Manual as the two together represent comprehensive documentation of the technical characteristics of the ACT in light of its intended purposes.
Resources: ACT regularly conducts research as part of the ongoing evaluation of its programs. The research is intended to ensure that the programs remain technically sound.

Work Ready Communities

www.workreadycommunities.org

3,629,751 National Career Readiness Certificates
15,291 Employers supporting Work Ready Communities
21,161 Job Profiles in the ACT database
15 more counties have become certified Work Ready Communities since mid-November

Work Ready Communities is accepting applications for Cohort 7 starting in March 2017. The link to the application to join Cohort 7 Academy is at http://www.workreadycommunities.org/index/sign-up. Apply now!

Louisiana ranked No. 18 for ACT career readiness certificates

A Site Selection 2017 “State of the States” report shows Louisiana is ranked No. 18 in the nation for the number of ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned per capita among working adults. The certificates are used as a reliable way to verify an employee’s work skills and to help job seekers improve their career outcomes. Louisianans earned roughly 66,600 certificates, a 25% improvement for the 2016-2017 year. The ranking is one of six indicators included in the report as a means to assist corporate location decision makers. Other indicators include spending on higher education research and development, energy costs, fiscal conditions, college attainment and the business tax climate of states.

Pottawatomie County Third County in Kansas Certified as ACT Work Ready Community

The Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) has worked with local community leaders, educators and employers to certify Pottawatomie County as an ACT Work Ready Community. The ACT website shows that Pottawatomie County is the third county in the state to join over 140 certified counties in the nation. The certification will help employees and students know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and help employers place new hires based on what they can demonstratively do through testing. “With the hard work of local superintendents, principals, guidance counselors and human resource managers through the Human Resource Management Network of Manhattan (HRMN), our team was able to get the necessary Work Keys assessments and support from the business community in order to get the county certified,” said Jack Allston, PCEDC executive director. “A major team member was Jo Brunner with KANSASWORKS. She and her team were instrumental in promoting and testing significant current and transitional workers.” PCEDC and KANSASWORKS have tested over 400 students and workers in the Pottawatomie County. “The ACT Kansas Work Ready Certificate shows an employer the basic skill levels a job applicant has in Math, Reading and Locating for Information,” said Jo Brunner, workforce services supervisor at KANSASWORKS. “The employer can then determine what additional training, if any they may choose to provide, to the jobseeker upon hire. The skills identified by the assessments reflect skills needed in almost all jobs.” Brunner said, “In the Junction City and Manhattan Workforce Centers KANSASWORKS provides the Career Ready 101 online refresher course for those people seeking employment and we provide the WorkKeys assessments so that jobseekers can obtain a Kansas Work Ready Certificate.” Over 50 employers in the Pottawatomie County area are currently participating and recognize the ACT Work Ready Certification. Employers can review workers and students and match them to the job skills they require for open job positions. “Currently we use [the certificates] as pre-employment tools for certain departments,” said Dawn Van Horn, human resources director for the city of Junction City. “By obtaining the certificate, you are slotted to progress through the pre-employment recruitment process. As a municipality, budget dollars are tight and accounted for. This program is no-cost to the potential candidate or employer. It provides the candidate with another tool for their career progression and provides an employer with an assessment of what potential candidates can bring to the table as far as skill sets and capabilities.

For more information on these articles visit http://workreadycommunities.org/news.


From the Field
Work Ready Communities are Working in Louisiana

The Site Selection 2017 “State of the States” report shows Louisiana is ranked No. 18 in the nation for the number of ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) earned per capita among working adults.

The NCRC is used as a reliable way to verify an employee’s work skills and to help job seekers improve their career outcomes. Louisianans earned roughly 66,600 certificates, a 25% improvement for the 2016-2017 year.

The ranking is one of six indicators included in the report as a means to assist corporate location decision makers. Other indicators include spending on higher education research and development, energy costs, fiscal conditions, college attainment and the business tax climate of states.

Marjorie Taylor, Executive Director at The Orchard Foundation, noted “I believe all our partners in the Cenla Work Ready Community Network contributed to our high ranking!”

“Since 2011, Central Louisiana has awarded thousands of NCRCs through its Cenla Work Ready Network. I believe the work of all our partners involved in this effort contributed to our state's high ranking.”

Please see a more detailed account in the Baton Rouge Business Report: https://www.businessreport.com/article/louisiana-ranked-no-18-act-career-readiness-certificates 

Career Exploration Night


On January 17th Fossil Ridge High School hosted our first Career Exploration Night. Around 400 students and families from the Ft. Collins area attended to learn and explore various career pathways. We started the night with a keynote speaker, Dr. Rich Feller, professor of career development at Colorado State University. He is also a consultant and author in career development and speaks all over the world.

We chose career sessions based on the Colorado Career Cluster model so that students could identify potential careers pathways, but then also see how course choices in high school can help them discover and learn about possible careers. After the keynote, students and families attended three sessions of their choice from a list of over 40 career areas. Each session was twenty minutes and provided them with brief, yet valuable information about how to prepare for, educational and certification requirements, projected salary and some time to ask questions. Some of the sessions included Video Game Design, Tattoo Artist, Physician, Phlebotomist, Nursing, HVAC, Gap year, Military, Engineering, 3D Printing, Aviation, Pharmaceutical, Skiing, snowboard and other outdoor industries, Professional Athlete, Graphic Designer, Robotics, Teaching, Animal Science, FBI and more. At the end of the sessions, students attended a fair where they could talk to each of the career participants for further information and learn from the session speakers they did not attend. It was a very successful and exciting event! We know as educators that when students engage meaningfully with potential careers or interest areas they can find confidence and success. Creating events such as this shows the value in helping students learn and discover potential career pathways earlier on.


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