The Career Readiness Certificate
An Idea Whose Time Has Come!

There is great concern in the private sector about the gap that
exists between the skills required in today's workplace and those exhibited by potential and incumbent employees. Businesses have trouble finding and hiring people who have basic employability skills and who are therefore trainable for specific jobs.

There is also a crisis in terms of the aging of the current workforce, particularly in the skilled trades, and the lack of potential replacement workers. Sustainability and perhaps even survival is now of vital importance in many industries due to this crisis.
The Career Readiness Certificate is a portable skills credential, assuring employers that a job applicant actually has the basic skills they seek.

Employers know that the costs of hiring, training, and retention significantly affect their bottom line. For an employer who may be contemplating moving his/her business to a new state or expanding an existing company, the skill level of the available workforce is often a deciding factor. Hiring for entry-level positions is particularly difficult because the applicant often has little or no work history, and presents with only a brief resume and an educational credential such as a high school diploma or a two- or four- year degree. While these credentials are beneficial they do not always give a clear indication of the skills that the applicant possesses.

Experts know that by 2020, more than 90% of all jobs will require skill levels beyond those gained in high school. Also, by that date, there will be a shortage of 3 million workers with associate's degrees or higher and a shortage of 5 million workers with technical credentials.

The majority of workers now need training and education at the post-secondary level. In the United States, most training is done on the job, and all indications are that this situation will not change in the coming decades. What employers need therefore, are employees who are trainable, and who can benefit from the many opportunities afforded them for skill enhancement.

Over the last twenty years, employers have become disillusioned with both the trainability of high school and college graduates, and with their associated work ethic. The second issue and its solution are, for the most part, societal concerns, and they are almost impossible to legally assess and certify. The trainability issue though is one that many states have embraced and are addressing through the development of a portable skills credential based on WorkKeys® assessments, a product of ACT, Inc®.

More than 15,000 job profiles have been completed using WorkKeys® assessments , and results are shown in the ACT, Inc. occupational profile national database. Examination of this database reveals that three WorkKeys® assessments, Reading For Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information are used in more than 85% of the profiles conducted across all industry sectors and all occupations. Consequently, these three assessments were chosen to form the basis of the Career Readiness Certificate.

Career Readiness Certificate Levels

Skill Area
Reading for Information

Further examination reveals that these levels form the basis for employment in approximately 33% (Bronze), 65% (Silver), and 85% (Gold) of the careers profiled in the database.

There are now more than 48 states and organizations issuing the Career Readiness Certificate. As of September 2014, it is estimated that more than 4,000,000 certificates have been issued nationwide.

Visit the Consortium page of this site for details.

The CRC has evolved significantly since its inception in 2003. It is now the basis for certifying WorkReady Communities in OK and GA; it is the foundation credential for many CRC+ programs (e.g. VA) that address the needs of specific industry sector jobs; it is the basic credential for the new stackable manufacturing skills credentials announced by NAM in July 2011; and it is now being used as an exit credential (optional and required) for high school students in many states.


Top of Page

© 2005 Career Readiness Certificate Consortium