April 2018

ACT WorkKeys/NCRC Efficacy Study

ACT is committed to ensuring its assessment claims are supported by evidence. Over the years, ACT has collaborated with employers, educational institutions, state departments of education, regional workforce developers, and credentialing organizations to gather data on the WorkKeys system and evaluate its effectiveness. We are currently seeking WorkKeys users who want to learn more about how WorkKeys scores are related to job performance and productivity, academic and training outcomes, time to employment, wages, and more.

By partnering with ACT in a WorkKeys/NCRC Efficacy Study, you will receive a free institution-specific report with results illustrating how ACT WorkKeys is working for you.

Center for Equity in Learning Publishes Op-ed for CED

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning recently published an opinion piece on what CEOs can do to improve outcomes in higher education for the Committee for Economic Development (CED). In the guest blog, Senior Director Christina Gordon discusses how business leaders and institutions of higher education can better support working learners, employees who are earning paychecks while engaging in higher education. Most students (59 percent) work while going to college. Recent research found students from low-income backgrounds who work a moderate number of hours while in school are likely to have better academic and career outcomes than those who balance heavy workloads while in college.

“Our report also notes that employers who adapt to accommodate the real-world demands on college-aged working learners position themselves, and society as a whole, to benefit for years to come from the ambition and hard work of these students. What’s more, employers can create a culture of supportive learning inside their companies that can have a positive effect on recruitment and retention of talented, productive employees.”

Check out Equity in Action blog to read more.

Webinar: Evening the Odds for College-Bound Students: Applying a Holistic Approach to Career and College Readiness Curricula

ACT, the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP), and Alliance College-Ready Public Schools co-led a webinar entitled “Evening the Odds for College-Bound Students: Applying a Holistic Approach to Career and College Readiness Curricula”. The webinar featured the Career & College Clubs℠ (CCC) program for students in grades 7-12, a research-based, peer-to-peer curriculum containing lessons and activities in domains such as academic preparation, college and career knowledge, leadership development, social and emotional learning, and professional etiquette. The curriculum was recently redesigned using the ACT® Holistic Framework™ as foundation for research-based activities and content.

To view a recording of the webinar, download the slides, and learn more about CCC, visit here.

2018 ACT Workforce Summit: Unmasking the Potential

Make plans now to join us in New Orleans this October for the 2018 ACT Workforce Summit ‘Unmasking the Potential’. The Summit will unmask the potential to strengthen the nation’s employment by connecting workforce professionals, economic developers, educators, industry associations, employers, and ACT Work Ready Communities.

ACT is committed to a workforce built to sustain and grow our economy by providing tools and support needed to develop the workforce employers want.

Registration will open soon. Sign up today to receive summit notifications.

Job Profiling Training Registration Deadline is April 13

Just ask any business leader: skill shortages are an expensive, time-wasting barrier to effective hiring and training. If your organization is tasked with helping businesses and career seekers to succeed, you need a job profiler. It is crucial to have an expert and resource on local jobs and the WorkKeys skills needed to perform them.

ACT-authorized job profilers follow a time-tested methodology for breaking down jobs into skills and skill levels and bringing job specifics into focus. In addition, profilers can conduct curriculum profiles to identify the skill levels required for entrance into a program of study and for program completion. Once a job and curriculum profile have been completed, profilers can facilitate a curriculum alignment between employers and educators to identify courses of action that can be taken to update curriculum to meet employer needs.

To become an authorized job profiler, an individual must successfully complete a training program conducted by ACT industrial/organizational psychologists. This program consists of guided self-study, using materials provided by ACT, and an on-site training workshop. The registration deadline for the next training group is April 13. The self-study starts on April 30 and the workshop will be June 12-15 at ACT headquarters in Iowa City, IA.

Individuals who participate in the training program must have qualifying knowledge and/or experience and the first step to registering is submitting an application which can be found here.

Please call 319-337-1724 or email jpanswers@act.org if you have questions prior to submitting an application


Wisconsin is the newest state to join the family of participating counties for Work Ready Communities with the launch in Eau Claire County. Pictured, Chippewa Valley Technical College hosted a ceremony on the launch as Wisconsin’s first Work Ready Community in-progress.

Wisconsin’s first Work Ready Community in progress

As the Omaha (Douglas County) passes it half-way point toward becoming a Work Ready Community, Site Selection magazine also recognized Nebraska with the annual Governors Cup award for winning the most economic development projects per capita. In the rankings for metro areas with populations between 200,000 to one million, Omaha took top honors for the third year in a row with 42 project wins.

Mesa County, Colorado’s first certified Work Ready Community, celebrated another goal achievement. According to its annual report, the Mesa County Workforce Center surpassed its original goal by finding jobs for 2,891 customers.

Congratulations to counties meeting their certification goals recently, which include Choctaw in Alabama, Cophia in Mississippi, Bolinger, Dallas, and Lincoln in Missouri, Carteret and Guilford North Carolina, and Multomah in Oregon. This brings the total of either participating or certified counties to 381 nationally.

The next national Academy training opportunity for prospective Work Ready Communities begins in early June. Learn more and sign up today to join the ranks of the nation’s best for workforce quality.


Louisiana: The Louisiana ACT Council hosted two highly successful events. First, the Council recognized their 2017-18 College and Career Readiness Champions (CCRC) at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion. First Lady of Louisiana, Donna Edwards, congratulated the CCRC winners during the awards ceremony. The very next day, the Council hosted the first Louisiana ACT Symposium. The Symposium sold over one month before the event!

Arkansas: The Arkansas ACT Council followed up last their 2017 Arkansas ACT Conference sell out with 50% more capacity for the 2018 Arkansas ACT Summit. Despite having more seats to fill, Arkansas had another sell out over one month before the event. Thanks again to Arkansas State University Beebe for hosting the event.

Follow us on Twitter at @ACT and on LinkedIn for daily updates.

Congratulations to the 2018 ACT College and Career Readiness Champions!

The ACT College and Career Readiness Champions are individuals across the country who support ACT’s mission of education and workplace success. They are high school seniors, K-12, postsecondary, and workforce professionals, who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and contributions in support of college and career readiness in their respective communities.

To see the full listing, please visit here.

Participate in an ACT Workforce Pilot Study

ACT is piloting an assessment of workplace social and emotional learning skills, otherwise known as soft skills. This assessment is meant to help entry-level employees develop the soft skills they need in order to be successful on the job. We are looking for organizations to participate in a pilot study with employees and their supervisors.

Employees would take the pilot version of the soft skills assessment, which assesses skills such as sustaining effort, getting along with others, and maintaining composure. Supervisors would fill out a standard performance rating form that assess the employees’ job performance on several dimensions. The employee would spend around 30 minutes taking the assessment, and the supervisor would spend 10-15 minutes per direct report employee filling out the performance rating form. Responses would be kept strictly confidential and would be used solely for research purposes to establish the predictive validity of the soft skills assessment.

In return for participating in this study, your organization will receive an aggregate report of where your employees as a whole stand on their soft skills. Interested? Sign up here.

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