For immediate release
Belle High School students receive National Career Ready Certificates
ACT WorkKeys is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This series of tests measures foundational and soft skills and offers specialized assessments to target institutional needs.
Successful completion of ACT WorkKeys assessments in applied mathematics, locating information, and reading for information can lead to earning the National Career Ready Certificate, a portable credential earned by more than 2.3 million people across the United States. Currently 67,000 Missouri residents hold NCRC credentials.
The NCRC is the key measurement in Missouri’s Certified Work Ready Communities initiative. In 2012, Missouri was selected as one of the first four states to participate in the Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) initiative by ACT. Now 24 states are participating. The national initiative was developed to close the skills gap by aligning workforce-training programs with the economic development needs of communities. Free WorkKeys testing for those who are 18 and older is available at Missouri Career Centers.
Thanks to special funding through the Missouri Department of Economic Development Division of Workforce Development, Maries and Gasconade counties were able to test juniors and seniors at their schools.
Maries County Presiding Commissioner Ray Schwartze, who also chairs the Maries County CWRC and the Gasconade Valley Enterprise Zone, presented the certificates to Belle students and commended them for “going above and beyond,” as the WorkKey test is not a required test.
High School Counselor Chris Feeler made WorkKeys a voluntary test, and explained and outlined the benefits of the certificate. Every student who was asked to take the test agreed.
BHS Principal Danielle Tuepker pointed out that the WorkKeys testing would help the school on its Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) standards.
Also on hand for the certificate presentations were Cheri Tune, the CWRC director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and Bonnie Prigge, executive director of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC). MRPC assisted the Gasconade Valley Enterprise Zone in securing the grant and helped BHS staff coordinate testing.
"We are very proud of these students for obtaining this credential,” said Tune. “Earning an NCRC not only demonstrates these students have the foundational workplace skills employers are looking for, but also the motivation and initiative, which is necessary to succeed in the workplace."