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New Berlin students ready for workforce

Aug. 4, 2014

New Berlin — Ninety-six percent of high school juniors in New Berlin are ready for the workforce, based on results of the ACT WorkKeys assessment.

The assessment measures foundational skills in areas that employers believe are critical to success in the workforce: applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information.

"The WorkKeys assessment helps us measure not only what students know, but how they can apply what they know to real life situations," Superintendent Joe Garza said in a news release announcing the test results.

Beginning next year, all juniors throughout the state will take the WorkKeys assessment. Eisenhower and West high schools were the only schools in the state to administer the test to their entire junior class as a pilot, one year before the scheduled statewide rollout.

Students who successfully complete the ACT WorkKeys earn National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC), a portable credential students can use when seeking employment or internships. An employer can use the certificate to determine how well an applicant will be able to apply his or her knowledge on the job.

Performance on the WorkKeys assessment also can help with career planning. They can compare their performance with requirements for future success in a given career, district officials said.

Results can also be associated with potential earning capacity after students acquire the specialized knowledge and skills needed for their future careers. Students are able to identify areas needing improvement so their skills are aligned with what they want to do and what their potential earning level might be in certain careers.

"For some students, earning potential is important; for others it's not," Garza said. "A component of planning for their future is also understanding how the choices they make now may impact finances down the road."

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