MMA testified before the House Committee on Ways & Means this week in opposition to legislation that would eliminate the valuable WorkKeys® assessments and National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) from Michigan high schools.
House Bill 4162 would eliminate the talent endorsement designed to connect employers with skilled career candidates and would increase the difficulty for Michigan to solve the growing challenge of locating and hiring skilled talent.
“There seems to be universal recognition that the problem of a lack of skilled talent is one that needs to be addressed. Democrat, Republican, House, Senate, the Governor — we hear constantly about support for bolstering our talent pipeline. So it seems inconsistent that we’re here talking about a bill that would eliminate the one career-oriented assessment and credential that must be provided to all Michigan students,” said Delaney McKinley, MMA senior director of government affairs and membership. “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 hundreds of companies in Michigan, focuses on core competencies relevant to employers’ needs, including applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information. The system then sets score levels, including Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels signify competency levels and communicate employability.
“Beyond direct communication with employers, it’s also important to recognize that the WorkKeys® and the resulting NCRC are assets for students who are pursuing other career pathways,” McKinley continued. “Community Colleges and Michigan Works! agencies also utilize WorkKeys® and the NCRC, so for students who are not directly university bound, this portable, nationally recognized credential is an asset that stays with them wherever they go. We strongly urge the Legislature to resist taking that away from them.”
You can watch MMA’s testimony live through the House streaming system here and access written testimony here. For more information, contact Delaney McKinley at 517-487-8530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.