Kirkwood Community College began the Career Readiness Certificate initiative as a result of a local Skills Survey. The survey’s purpose was to inquire about the skills of workforce that employers felt they would need in the coming years to meet the demands of their businesses. The findings were that employers felt that the majority of workforce would not be ready to meet the demands of their businesses (both incumbent, available and emerging workforce). Additional recommendations were made to address specific areas of concern in an attempt to move towards a more prosperous workforce region. One of the recommendations addressed the need for a common language between workforce and employers about workplace skills. Click here for a complete copy the Skills 2006 Report, including recommendations.
As a result Kirkwood teamed up with area economic development groups (Priority One out of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Area Development Group) to begin an effort to develop and communicate fundamental workplace skills through the use of the National Career Readiness Certificate. In order to better understand the skill set of the current incumbent workforce and validate a regional benchmark for workplace skills, area employers, spanning in size and industry, allowed Kirkwood to conduct a research study testing current workers with the certificate.
Click here to see the first in the nation findings of the Skills Advantage Research Project.
With the support of 12 of our area employers who agreed to recommend/require the certificate in their hiring practices, Kirkwood began the formation of its National Career Readiness Certificate program.