NCRC Career Readiness: An Edge Up for Oregon Employees

career readiness
By Deb Kallen, Communications Assistant

Getting work-ready

Last month, I wrote about a jobs training program in Portland from WorkSource. Today I have another tip for gaining the competitive edge, confidence, and skills Oregon employers need from their employees. A good way to prove career readiness to employers is to take a newly-available nationally recognized test leading to National Career Readiness Certification. Judged by more and more Oregon employers every day to be the gold standard for employability, the NCRC was just launched on January 25th of this year.

The NCRC is…

  • A nationally-recognized, portable, evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills
  • A reliable predictor of workplace success
  • A recruiting and hiring tool for employers
  • A way to connect job applicants with employers
  • A complement to other credentials such as a high school diploma, industry certificate or college degree

Getting Certified

In order to be certified, applicants must take a free test which is available at any WorkSource center in Oregon. The test documents foundational workplace skills in three core areas demonstrated to be critical to a person’s success in the workplace.

These work skills are:

  • Applied Mathematics – how you apply math reasoning and problem-solving techniques
  • Reading for Information – how you interpret written text
  • Locating Information – how you use charts, graphs and tables to find information

Passing the Test

Knowledge is as individual as people. Fear of failure can hold many back from working toward adding this certification to a work portfolio. Yet, the certification can be a rubber stamp of career readiness.

Steps to Take for Employee Success 

  • Start by talking to a local WorkSource representative.
  • Complete a brief pre-assessment to learn whether you are ready to take the NCRC.
  • Take practice assessments or online coursework if you find you need to sharpen your skills.
  • When you earn your certificate, update your resume to include your NCRC.
  • After receiving the NCRC, talk to your WorkSource representative about promoting its value – and yours - to potential employers.

Certificate Levels

Certification is awarded at different levels, depending on performance on the test. Higher levels indicate career readiness for a wider range of jobs and at a higher-level.

  • Level 3 Bronze – Qualifies you for 35% of the jobs on the market
  • Level 4 Silver – 65%
  • Level 5 Gold – 90%
  • Level 6 Platinum – 99%

Consider the Alternative

In 2011, an anticipated 30,000 jobs will open in Oregon with six unemployed Oregonians for each job vacancy. Competition for these jobs will be fierce. Having the NCRC under ones belt may help a candidate stand out in the job market.

Click on the link to get more information about the NCRC at the national level.