Utah is well known for its young, educated, bilingual, skilled workforce, but a new initiative underway will make that workforce stand out even more by earning the National Career Readiness Certificate. 

"We can say we have a quality workforce, but with the Career Readiness Certificate, it is a guarantee," says Amber Johnston, program specialist in the Utah Department of Workforce Services. "The certificate program gives us the ability to prove we have the quality workforce we have always touted and know we have. With the certificate, we can say we are young, educated and we are also certified."

As the crux of the ACT Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) program, the NCRC is a portable, nationally-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual's skills through assessments called WorkKeys, which measure individual skills in key areas: reading for information, applied math and locating information--soft skills required for 85 percent of all jobs. Individuals take the assessments and receive the National Career Readiness Certificate based upon their scores. Businesses use the assessments to determine if a job applicant has the soft skills necessary to perform a specific job. ACT, a not-for-profit public trust headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, has developed a database of profiled jobs and assessments for those jobs, which businesses can utilize as part of their hiring process.

Read the rest of this story in EDCUtah's Utah Site Selection Quarterly newsletter.