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The Work Keys system is a common element among the 12 sections of the New & Related Services Division. This report focuses on the benefits of Work Keys, which helps employers worldwide identify the skills employees need to be successful.

Thomas N. Applegate, field editor of this Division Report also is vice president of the New & Related Services Division.

The Work Keys Workforce

AVA's New & Related Services Division is a diverse grouping of 12 different affiliated sections of vocational educators. Because the varied sections have different focuses, there rarely is a common factor among the group. A notable exception, however, is the use of the Work Keys system, developed by ACT, Inc.

Members of the Adult Vocational Education Association (AVEA), Customized Business and Industry Training (CBITS) and school-to-careers and tech prep organizations are using the Work Keys system to help build a world-class workforce.

What is Work Keys

Developed by American College Testing, an international leader in educational assessment, Work Keys is used by employers worldwide to identify the skills employees need to be successful and to determine where additional training will help build a higher performance workforce. These skill levels are translated into a numeric score that correlates to instructional objectives developed by ACT. Tech prep and school-to-careers use this data to strengthen their programs.

Much more than an assessment program, Work Keys offers a complete spectrum of job analysis, assessment, instructional support, reporting and training services. The program is built around a skill scale that accurately measures both the skills of individuals and those required for successful job performance.

In the few years since its introduction, Work Keys has been adopted by business and industry, government agencies and educational institutions in 41 states and several countries. And more organizations are joining the ranks of satisfied users each year. Many of these centers are directed and staffed by members of the New & Related Services Division. In Ohio, for example, there are 40 Work Keys Service centers--all of which are part of the AVEA membership.

Work Keys benefits

* Identify academic skills at a specific measurable level so they can be integrated into the curriculum.

* Assist instructors in identifying skill deficiencies and providing appropriate instructional intervention.

* Develop a better picture of the skills employees need by systematically profiling job requirements in business and industry.

* Increase productivity on the job by placing job applicants and employees in jobs that match their skills.

* Help businesses screen and select employees with needed skills while meeting Americans with Disabilities and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements.

* Assist businesses in reducing the high hidden costs associated with poor hiring decisions, including those for lost production, turnover, rehiring and additional training.

* Develop a common basis for communication between businesses and educators to ensure a continuing resource of qualified workers.

* Use the Work Keys system to meet ISO 9000 standards and ensure quality business practices.

* Assess students so that skill levels can be compared to business and industry needs.

For more information about the Work Keys system, contact Applegate at 5930 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX 78752, (512) 223-7052; Dan Carstensen at P.O Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168; or (800) WORKKEY.

Each AVA division contributes one report a year to review issues, trends and innovative vocational education programs.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Association for Career and Technical Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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