Thursday, June 21, 2012

Join ACT WorkKeys Webinars Next Week

WorkKeys Notice 2012--#19: ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative - Webinar Training

ACT has launched a new initiative called Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) that measures and reports National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRCs) earned by county of residence.  At the county level, we are further reporting aggregate certificate information by current workforce status.  Up until recently, we could only report state-level data, so we are very excited about having more detailed workforce skill data available on a monthly basis.

Our partners will use this aggregate data to identify and remediate skills gaps at the community, regional, and state levels.  The data will also be used to document the skill level of the workforce for economic development purposes.  And, for CWRC participating states, collecting this data will directly relate to counties achieving their goals!  Please know, every state can participate in the Certified Work Ready Community initiative.  

As WorkKeys Test Administrators, you play a vital role in helping capture this new data at the time of assessment.  Needless to say, maintaining the integrity of this process is crucial.  It is very important that the county of residence and current workforce status be accurately reported -- and that the assessment-takers complete these fields themselves.

There are a number of changes (outlined below) to WorkKeys Internet Version testing, paper-and-pencil testing, Express Score, and RegiSTAR to support these new data fields.  We will be conducting webinar training to familiarize you with the updated processes.

Changes to WorkKeys Internet Version Testing
In January, we began collecting the county of residence and the current workforce status of examinees.  To indicate their county of residence, examinees are required to select their state from a drop-down menu, select their county from another drop-down menu, then copy and paste the county of residence FIPS code into the space provided.  

Beginning on June 29, examinees will no longer need to copy and paste the data.  They will simply select their state from a drop-down menu, then select their county from another drop-down menu.  The county name will automatically populate in the space provided.  

There are no changes to the way the "current status" question is completed.

Changes to WorkKeys Paper-and-Pencil Testing
Testing staff will find two new fields on page 2 of the paper-and-pencil answer documents.  Examinees will enter their county of residence in Box 21.  Test Supervisors will look up county FIPS codes in the United States and U.S. Territories County FIPS Codes Manual.  Test Supervisors are instructed to post local county FIPS codes on a board at the front of the room.  

Examinees will select a response to the question about their current status in Box 22 on the answer document.  They should choose the ONE response that best fits their current status in the workforce.  If more than one response is marked, test scoring will be delayed.

Changes to Express Score
Test Supervisors need to be sure that examinees complete Box 21 and Box 22 on the answer document.  If these boxes are not completed, the batch will not transmit until information is provided in these fields.  The Test Supervisor will need to edit the examinee record on screen and, if known, complete the missing data.  If unknown, the Test Supervisor should NOT attempt to answer these two questions.  The Test Supervisor should choose the "unknown" response.  To avoid delays in scoring with Express Score, Test Supervisors should always check the answer documents before the examinees leave.

Changes to RegiSTAR Reports
The last two columns in the RegiSTAR Export Certificate Data and Export Test Data reports will display data for the county of residence and current status demographic fields.

Webinar Training Schedule
Webinar training for changes to WorkKeys Internet Version testing, Paper-and-Pencil testing, and Express Score will be provided at the following times:

Tuesday, June 26        10:00 a.m., central time
Tuesday, June 26        3:00 p.m., central time
Wednesday, June 27        2:00 p.m., central time
Thursday, June 28        9:00 a.m., central time

To register for a webinar, use the applicable URL below:

Tuesday, June 26 at 10:00 a.m.        https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/641400594
Tuesday, June 26 at 3:00 p.m.        https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/998717050
Wednesday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m.        https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/869152130
Thursday, June 28 at 9:00 a.m.        https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/938428354

A recorded version of the webinar will also be available.

ACT has launched a new website, http://www.workreadycommunities.org, as part of the CWRC initiative.  The NCRC data is available via click-through maps, first at the state level, then at the county and workforce status levels, and will be updated monthly.  Please visit the website to see how the data you are helping to capture in these two new fields will provide vital skill information to participating communities.  Please note that only NCRCs issued and stored in the RegiSTAR system are counted, and county-level data is reported based on where the examinees? permanent residence is located.

If you have questions about ACT Certified Work Ready Communities or any of the new data collection processes, please contact us at 800/WORKKEY (967-5539) or workkeys@act.org.
__________________________________

Thank you for using WorkKeys.

Sincerely,
The WorkKeys Staff
workkeys@act.org
800/WORKKEY (967-5539)

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