Yesterday the Governor, business leaders, educators and workers publicly launched a new initiative to help Oregon achieve its workforce development goals. TheNational Career Readiness Certificate helps employees gain a competitive edge by demonstrating the skills employers need. It also helps employers hire, train and retain qualified workers. Moving the NCRC forward is a key initiative of the Oregon Business Plan and Governor Kitzhaber.

Oregonians who earn an NCRC have demonstrated that they can apply the foundational skills that are critical to success in a majority of jobs. These skills are applied math, reading and locating information. The NCRC is incorporated into an organization’s existing hiring practices. As an objective measure, it is one factor in many that helps determine an applicant’s fit for a job.

Video:  Governor Kitzhaber speaks at NCRC launch.

Background

In 2008, the Oregon Business Plan identified the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) as a tool that could help Oregon achieve its goals for workforce development. After a successful pilot phase, Oregon’s NCRC is now available statewide. Governor Kitzhaber has included Oregon’s NCRC in his workforce development strategy as an effective tool that helps employers identify Oregon workers who have important foundational skills.

The Oregon Business Plan endorsed Oregon’s NCRC as a solution that addresses the concerns voiced by our state’s business community, namely access to qualified job applicants who have foundational skills in place. In addition, Duncan Wyse is a member of the Implementation Committee comprised of public and private leaders to develop Oregon’s NCRC as a strong resource for our business community. The NCRC is also endorsed by the Oregon Business Association, Associated Oregon Industries, Portland Business Alliance, the Energy Consortium of Oregon & Southwest Washington and the Manufacturing 21 Coalition. Nationally, the NCRC is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturing.

Oregon’s NCRC received important legislative support when House Bill 2398 was passed in the 2009 Oregon Legislative session, calling for the creation of the Career Readiness Certificate Program through the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD).

From its inception, Oregon’s NCRC has benefited from a strong partnership of local stakeholders, including Local Workforce Investment Boards, community colleges, economic development organizations, the Oregon Employment Department and other partners. Their input has been instrumental in shaping the strategies and tactics for the statewide implementation of the certificate. Currently, over 4,400 Oregonians hold certificates and 68 employers have indicated a preference for job applicants who have an NCRC.

Oregon has made a public investment in the NCRC. There are currently no additional costs for individuals to earn a certificate or for employers to prefer the NCRC as a hiring tool. For more information, and to find your local NCRC contact, visit www.OregonNCRC.org

How the NCRC Works
Oregonians who earn an NCRC have demonstrated that they can apply the foundational skills that are critical to success in a majority of jobs. These skills are applied math, reading and locating information. The NCRC is incorporated into an organization’s existing hiring practices. As an objective measure, it is one factor in many that helps determine an applicant’s fit for a job.

ACT, a recognized expert in providing academic and workplace assessments, used broad occupational research to validate the universal importance of the three work-skill areas assessed for the certificate. This makes the certificate relevant for jobs at every level and in nearly any industry. Today, over 30 states use the NCRC in varying levels.

Visit www.OregonNCRC.org to learn more.