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Work Readiness Collaborative 
Employers report that far too many workers lack basic academic and professionalism skills.  These basic competencies are the building blocks that provide the foundation for success in today's workforce.  According to a survey of local employers, the top skill gaps of new hires are: taking initiative, dependability, time management, problem solving, writing, and dressing appropriately.  

Not only are these foundational skills critical for job performance, but they are also a needed prerequisite for workers to begin a career pathway.  In fact, employers report that these foundational skills are just as important as the technical skills needed for the job.  At a local employer forum in early 2011, employers said that the biggest barrier to those who can’t find jobs are a lack of technical skills (44%), a lack of work ethic and basic skills (44%) and a lack of jobs available (12%).  ​This deficiency in basic skills hampers our ability to supply qualified workers to employers, and prevents individuals from obtaining and maintaining employment.

Building on previous efforts, the Work Readiness Collaborative was convened to focus on building the foundational work readiness skills of our workforce. The collaborative will consist of representatives from community-based service providers, education and training providers, and One Stops.

Objective
Improve the work readiness services provided within the community to help individuals obtain and retain gainful employment.

Goals
  • Convene a collaborative of service providers to improve and coordinate work readiness and placement efforts for jobseekers.
  • Provide a structure for data-driven, continuous improvement in service delivery.
  • Align providers around core work readiness competencies and incorporating common training components and certifications to ensure that regardless of what program an individual has participated in, the completion of the program would provide an assurance of attainment of foundational employability skills. 

Partners
Representatives from community-based service providers, education and training providers, and One Stops.

Measures
  • Number and demographics of individuals served
  • Number/Percent of individuals completing the core work readiness program
  • Number/Percent of individuals certified work ready (NCRC)
  • Number/Percent of individuals placed and retained in employment 
  • Employer satisfaction 

Achievements
  • ​More than 1,500 National Career Readiness Certifications have been delivered in our region through twelve partner providers.


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The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), based on ACT's WorkKeys assessments, is an evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills and reliably predicts workplace success. Employers, job seekers, and educators use the NCRC as a common language for screening job candidates, identifying skill gaps, and validating skills. Employers value the NCRC as a screening tool to identify better-qualified new hires, educators utilize the NCRC as a standard way to assess work readiness and address skill gaps, and workers can verify and document their skills and qualifications for employment.  

Learn more about the NCRC

All three career pathway partnerships in our region have embraced the NCRC as the foundational credential, and we have delivered over 1,500 NCRCs to date through educational institutions, community organizations, and One Stops. The following partner organizations are currently delivering the WorkKeys assessments and NCRC credential:

  • Butler Tech
  • Cincinnati State Technical & Community College
  • Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency 
  • Cincinnati Labor Agency for Social Services
  • ​Cincinnati Works
  • Dress for Success
  • Easter Seals Work Resource Center 
  • Gateway Community & Technical College
  • Great Oaks Career Campuses
  • Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
  • SuperJobs Center
  • Urban League of Greater Cincinnati
National Career Readiness Certificate