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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Department of Workforce Services unveils new program for employers, job seekers

  • Joe Franklin, assistant director of the New Hire Registry and Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate Programs at the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, recently unveiled an underutilized program available for employers and job seekers.
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  • Joe Franklin, assistant director of the New Hire Registry and Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate Programs at the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, recently unveiled an underutilized program available for employers and job seekers. “The primary purpose of the Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate Program is to positively impact the economy in Arkansas by helping employers to find potential new employees and helping job seekers to build their workplace skills,” explained Franklin. Governor Mike Beebe and the Governor's Workforce Cabinet launched the Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate Program Jan. 14, 2008. Since the program's implementation, more than 45,282 certificates have been issued and more than 7,592 employers have hired job seekers who have the credentials. “The program targets first and foremost the unemployed followed by the underemployed,” said Franklin. “The program is no cost to employers and job seekers and provides a valuable tool that can compliment a resume and job application.” Franklin added that employers who recognize or require an Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate in their hiring/promotional decisions can expect to see reduced employee turnover rates, higher productivity and lower training costs. Arkansas employers are facing formidable challenges in today's economic climate. The Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate has proven to be invaluable to the economic and professional development of Arkansas employers and job seekers. This advantage comes in the form of a widely recognized credential that can help businesses quickly and easily identify job seekers who have necessary workplace skills, to make hiring and promotional decisions more consistent without bias and to make training costs more efficient. According to Franklin, an Arkansas CRC is a portable credential based on the ACT Key Train instruction and Work Keys assessments that demonstrates to employers that an individual possesses the basic workplace skills required for 21st century jobs. “Getting a CRC will allow an individual to show prospective employers that he or she possesses the basic skills they are looking for,” commented Franklin. Even if a job seeker has a GED, high school diploma or post secondary degree, the Arkansas CRC further verifies that he can handle tasks such as finding information, reading instructions and directions and working with numbers that are common in today's workplaces. Fast Facts: Arkansas Career Readiness Certificates Awarded to Date: 45,282 Bronze: 7,990 Silver: 26,087 Gold: 11,134 Platinum: 71 Percentage for Each Certificate Level: Bronze: 18 percent, Silver 58 percent, Gold 24 percent • According to Franklin, Arkansas is one of 49 states with a Career Readiness Certificate program. • To earn an Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate, job seekers must successfully complete the Key Train instruction and score at least a Level 3 on the Work Keys assessments in these three areas of skill. • The CRC program is accessible no matter where you are in Arkansas. A total of 22, two-year colleges, 52 adult education centers, 32 Workforce Centers and 10 local Workforce Investment Areas provide training and assessment opportunities in every corner of the state. “Arkansas ranks among the top 10 states that have awarded the most CRCs,” said Franklin. “Arkansas' success with the program has, in turn, drawn national attention, with many states looking to Arkansas as a model.” “The Work Keys approach, through the Career Readiness Certificate, provides a validated process for selecting those applicants for initial interviews. This assessment reduces the time and effort required to identify a candidate with basics skills needed for the job. An additional benefit is knowing that the applicant has a strong desire to improve their skills thus providing a valuable asset to your company,” concluded Franklin. For more information contact your nearest Workforce center or contact Franklin at (501) 683-4708, 1-866-757-299 or crc@arkansas.gov.
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