MMA stepped forward in opposition last week to legislation seeking to eliminate a valuable talent certification designed to connect employers with skilled career candidates.
The WorkKeys® National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) provides a way for the K-12 system and the students themselves to communicate to employers that the student possesses the skill sets needed by the employer.
House Bill 4501, introduced by Representative John Reilly (R-Oakland), would eliminate the WorkKeys® NCRC endorsement from Michigan high school diplomas and increase the difficulty with which employers can locate the right students with the right skill sets.
“With an aging workforce and changes in technology, finding talent has become one of the primary barriers to competitiveness for a large industrial state like Michigan,” said Delaney McKinley, MMA senior director of government affairs and membership, in written testimony. “While great effort has been put forth to increase the quality of a high school diploma in Michigan, the WorkKeys® NCRC system communicates directly to employers in a way that helps students match their skill sets with the talent needs of employers.”
The WorkKeys® NCRC system, currently supported by 252 companies, focuses on core competencies relevant to employers’ needs, including applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. The system then sets score levels to signify competency and communicate employability.
“Michigan’s education system ought to be responsive to the needs of employers in seeking qualified talent to hire and help companies compete effectively in the global economy,” said McKinley. “As a result, we would suggest enhancing the program rather than eliminating an effective tool for matching students with the right career opportunities.”
This article was originally published in the 1/16/18 issue of MMA’s MFG Voice.