Governor Unveils Work Ready/College
August 25, 2007
(SitNews) Governor Sarah Palin today announced a new program
as part of her administration's commitment to Alaska's workforce
development. The Work Ready/College Ready program allows students
and adult job-seekers to gauge their readiness for work, college
and occupational training, and to improve the basic skills valued
by employers and educators. The Alaska Departments of Education
and Early Development, and Labor and Workforce Development are
Work Ready/College Ready provides an opportunity for Alaskans
to be assessed in three basic skill areas - applied math, reading
for information and locating information in graphic formats -
that are critical to transitioning from high school to the workplace,
college or occupational training.
"This is the type of partnership I envisioned when I took
office and pledged that Alaskans would be prepared for jobs,"
Governor Sarah Palin said. "It shows what can be accomplished
when school, work, business and industry speak the same language
and share the same goals for work readiness."
After an assessment, participants can enroll in web-based courses
to improve their performance in certain skills. The training
is individualized, self-paced, targeted to the basic transitional
skills and delivered in a work-related, applied context. The
assessments and curriculum which are all available online
may be accessed through the public schools, at home or
in any state job center.
Participants can receive a nationally recognized Career Readiness
Certificate that demonstrates their basic workplace skills. More
than 40 states issue the certificates, which business, industry
and some postsecondary institutions recognize as a valuable credential.
"The skills needed to enter many vocations are similar to
the skills needed to get into college. By 2010, three-quarters
of jobs will require some type of training after high school,"
said Roger Sampson, who recently stepped down as Education Commissioner
and who championed the program. "Work Ready/College Ready
lets students know what level of skill they need for the occupations
they're interested in, how well they match up in those skill
levels, and it provides training to reach their goal."
The state will bear the costs of providing the assessments and
the curriculum through contracts with providers. The state has
contracted with Worldwide Interactive Network Inc. (WIN) of Kingston,
Tenn., to provide benchmark assessments and curriculum.
Through its WorkKeys product, ACT Inc. will provide the summative
assessments for the Career Readiness Certificate. ACT will also
provide profiles of the skill levels needed to enter more than
12,000 individual jobs in 400 occupational areas.
The State Board of Education and Early Development has opened
a period of public comment through Nov. 9 on the proposed regulations
to implement Work Ready/College Ready in the public schools.
On the Web:
Proposed regulations to implement
Work Ready/College Ready in the public schools
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