Fowler students assessed for work readiness
Fowler students assessed for work readinessMay 24, 2007Eileen Jevisejevis@uc.syr.edu
Fifty-one Fowler High School seniors traveled to the Syracuse University campus on May 14 to match their job skill readiness with potential employment opportunities. University College, in partnership with Fowler High School and Partners for Education and Business assessed the students in three areas — reading, math and locating information.
Students who demonstrate high levels of work readiness will be awarded the Essential New York Certificate of Workplace Competency, along with their high school diplomas. The Certificate of Workplace Competency is a portable, assessment-based credential administered by the WorkKeys? Center at Syracuse University. It gives employers and job seekers a tool to measure key workplace skills and is also an excellent predictor of success in college.
The certificate is awarded at three skill levels, based on the skills required for specific jobs. The levels are as follows:
- Gold: Validates skills for 80 percent of all entry-level jobs, such as maintenance technicians, customer service representatives and nurses.
- Silver: Validates skills for 65 percent of all entry-level jobs, such as carpenters, certified nurse assistants and machine operators.
- Bronze: Validates 30 percent of all entry-level jobs, such as truck drivers, assemblers and laborers.
Of the 51 students participating, two will receive the gold certificate, 14 will receive the silver certificate and 13 will receive the bronze certificate along with their diplomas at the Fowler graduation ceremony next month. The results of the assessment will be compared to the student’s career of choice as part of the school’s Career Academy program to provide graduates with crucial information about how their current level of skills compares to the skills they will need to be successful in their career of choice.
Bea Gonzalez, interim dean of University College, welcomed students to the event. “You are the first generation of American students who will be competing with students from around the world for the best jobs and the highest wages,” she said. “Students from nations like China and India are giving the United States all we can handle in the form of global economic competition. Let me assure you, they are fierce competitors. Today, you will find out if you are ready.”
Also in attendance was Frank Caliva, director of talent initiatives for the Metropolitan Development Association (MDA). Caliva informed the students that the certificate will be an effective tool to convince employers that they have the skills required for success, whether they are on their way to college or directly into the workplace.
The WorkKeys Center offers a complete spectrum of job analysis, skill assessment, instructional support and training services for employers, job seekers and students, revolving around the well-known WorkKeys System developed by American College Testing (ACT). WorkKeys employs a precisely calibrated numeric rating scale to compare the skills of an individual to the skills required for effective performance in any job. The center is housed at University College.
Partners for Education and Business (PEB), was created by education and business leaders to develop programs and partnerships to enhance the career preparation of youth and adults with an emphasis on economic development. PEB grew out of the national School-to-Work and Goals 2000 initiatives and now comprises a consortium of six districts, including the Syracuse City School District. Although the consortium developed many school/business partnerships, the emphasis is now on maximizing the synergies between education and workforce development to impact the career development of youth and adults.