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Selecting individuals with essential, verifiable workplace skills

October 24, 2016

It is the responsibility of a Small Business Development Advisor, me – Peggy Rosser, to introduce you, the small business owner, to any type of system which will help you successfully manage your business.  THIS business tips article explains the cutting edge system, used across the nation, which will help you match your work requirements with employees who have those skills.

Small business owners consistently identify hiring the right employees to work for them as one of the most difficult aspects of running their business. 

“Where can I find the right employees?” small business owners ask. “They fill out an application, I check their references and the scope of their previous jobs only to find that when they start working for me, they are unable to perform at the expected level.”

Small Business Owners, you need a way to select individuals “with essential, verifiable workplace skills.” Your solution is available through Concho Valley Workforce Development Board in partnership with ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (ACT NCRC).

Leon Osborne, CEO of Osborne Wood Products (GA) touts the program’s success.  “We no longer have to deal with stacks of applications.  Now we have a much better idea of what we’re getting, and our existing employees know that the new team member will be equipped to learn quickly and contribute right away.  With this program, we’re able to place the right person in the right job.”

Tom Green County is the second county in Texas to pursue Work Ready Community Certification.  Many other States (28) are currently participating in this National Certification program. 

In order to gain some understanding, let’s follow the process from the business owner’s perspective.  As a business in Tom Green County, you can participate by signing up to either recognize or recommend the NCRC.

When your company is ready to hire, an analysis of the job requirements (ACT JobPro database) will determine which of four graduated levels of foundational workplace skills is required.  Ask for the National Career Readiness Skills Certificate of your applicants.   Workforce Solutions will assess applicants free of charge under a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, until funds are exhausted.

The applicants, having participated in ACT WorkKeys testing prior to applying or as a condition of applying, will understand what skills employers want. This in turn helps educators prepare students for success.  Christoval ISD is a partner in this initiative and tests its students for work readiness.

The certificate levels are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Platinum level requires that the examinee demonstrates foundational skills associated with approximately 99% of jobs in the ACT JobPro database. Gold level requires 93%, Silver 69% and Bronze 17%.

The local Workforce Board piloted this program with its contractor at Workforce Solutions several years ago, seeking a solution to turnover greater that 50% in one department.  The results decreased turnover to less than 12% for all departments, which saved over $7,000 per person in retraining costs.  Employers, if you are experiencing frequent turnover, contact Cathy Ballard, Director of Planning/EO Officer at the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board. Phone by calling 325-655-2005 extension 304 or email at cballard@cvworkforce.org.

“Business Tips” was written by Peggy Rosser, Certified Senior Rural Business Advisor of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center.  For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact her at Peggy.Rosser@angelo.edu.

 

  • Peggy Hodges Rosser, Business Development Specialist and Rural Business Manager

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