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About the Credential

The National Work Readiness Credential is the first national standards-based assessment for entry-level workers to provide a universal, transferable, national standard for work readiness. It’s based on the nationally-validated Equipped for the Future learning standards, which were created as part of the National Institute for Literacy’s ten-year standards development initiative.
The Credential has been developed to provide a national, portable certification that affirms that individual job seekers have demonstrated the knowledge and skills needed for successful performance as entry-level workers. It is not intended to replace academics, high school, or postsecondary education. Instead, it addresses the ability of an individual to perform basic entry-level tasks. Entry level jobs are defined as non-supervisory, non-managerial, non-professional positions. These may be unskilled positions, or they may be skilled positions where the required job-specific skills can be learned while on the job.

The Test
The Credential’s assessment includes four modules—situational judgment, oral language, reading and using math—which can be completed separately or all together. It assesses whether the test-taker can use nine (9) skills well enough to carry out critical entry-level tasks and responsibilities. Businesses from across industry sectors identified these skills as critical for entry-level workers to succeed in today's workplace and global economy:
1. Speak so others can understand
2. Listen actively
3. Solve problems and make decisions
4. Cooperate with others
5. Resolve conflicts and negotiate
6. Observe critically
7. Take responsibility for learning
8. Read with understanding
9. Use math to solve problems

It is the stated policy of the National Work Readiness Council that the National Work Readiness Assessment instrument will be continuously reviewed to assure the consistency and compliance with the generally accepted principles of the universal access and all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. To read the full policy statement on this issue, click here.

The National Work Readiness Credential was developed through a national consensus-building process that included businesses, unions, chambers of commerce, education and training professionals, and state workforce investment boards in the founding states of Florida, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, the District of Columbia, as well as JA Worldwide.

Benefits of the Credential
The Credential is an important tool that will help meet the following goals:
- Enable job seekers to signal that they are work-ready and prepared for the first step on a career path
- Streamline the hiring process for businesses and help them reduce their recruitment costs, by identifying a pool of candidates with the right skills, knowledge and abilities
- Improve the ability of workforce systems to refer work-ready applicants to business customers

The National Work Readiness Credential began a targeted “soft” launch in September 2006 in approximately 50 sites around the country. The full launch will begin in January 2007.

Initially, the National Work Readiness Credential will be administered through the public workforce system in the six founding states, as well as part of the Junior Achievement Worldwide high school curriculum. Because the assessment will be available through a web-based delivery system, it will be able to be administered by community colleges, other education and training providers, and employers.

National Work Readiness Council
Phone 800.761.0907| Fax: 850.385.8546