Midlands Workforce Development Board

100 Executive Center Drive Suite 218
 Columbia, SC 29210



WorkKeys® is a job skills assessment system developed by ACT, a national non-profit testing company. It is used across the nation to help individuals, educators and employer identify the skills needed to be successful on the job and to determine where additional training can help develop a higher caliber workforce. It measures the “real world” skills employers believe are critical to job success. The system is designed to match prospective employees to jobs and careers. WorkKeys® will measure your skills and compare them to the requirements of the jobs that you want.

The WorkKeys® assessments present workplace situations, reading materials, problems and messages for the employee to respond to and/or resolve. Each assessment is constructed with a number of levels, with each successive level more complex than the previous. The assessments include:

• Business Writing
• Listening
• Reading for Information
• Writing
• Applied Mathematics
• Applied Technology
• Locating Information
• Observation
• WorkKeys® Readiness
• Spanish WorkKeys® (Applied Mathematics, Applied Technology, Locating Information, Reading for Information)

If your skill levels meet the job requirements, you can use the WorkKeys® skill reports and certificates to show employers the kind of job you are capable of performing. Your scores help you describe your strengths in terms of skills that are relevant to the workplace.

If your skill levels need improving, the MWDB can provide a targeted training program to help you raise your scores. The program is web-based and mobile, and helps you get the most out of your valuable learning time. The package complements WorkKeys® and is tailored to your personal education and training needs.

Contact the Midlands Workforce Development Board at 737-0253 or jcatoe@mwdb.org to find out more about how WorkKeys® can help you achieve your career goals.

 Job Profiling

The WorkKeys® job profiling system is a job analysis system developed by ACT that helps businesses identify the skills and skill levels employees must have to perform particular jobs effectively. It also gives individuals a clear picture of the skill levels they need to qualify for and be successful in the jobs they want. When used with the assessments, instruction, and reporting, job profiling allows students and workers to make decisions about appropriate jobs and to identify areas they need to strengthen in pursuing their education and career goals.

WorkKeys® job profiling is conducted by job analysts who have been trained and authorized by WorkKeys® industrial/organization psychologists. The profiling procedure is designed to systematically develop accurate profiles through a task analysis that is used to select the tasks most critical to a job, a skill analysis that is used to identify the skills and skill levels required at the entry level and for effective performance on that job, and skill ranking, which determines which WorkKeys® skills are the most critical to the job.

Task analysis – When profiling the job, the ACT-authorized job profiler first obtains background information about the job and the company. The profiler then begins the process of task analysis by consulting the Dictionary of Occupational Titles to develop a list of tasks that are relevant to the job. The profiler meets with subject matter experts (SMEs) who are incumbent workers or are supervisors in the job being studied. The work together to tailor eth task list to make sure it accurately and completely describes their job. The SMEs add, delete, consolidate, and change the descriptions of tasks, as needed, to make sure they accurately depict their job as it is performed at their company.

After carefully examining this list of tasks, the SMEs rate each task according to two dimensions: Importance and Relative Time Spent. Importance refers to the significance of the task to overall job performance. Relative Time Spent is the amount of time spent performing this task compared to that spent on other tasks. The average Importance rating is multiplied by the average Relative Time Spent rating to produce the Criticality rating for each task. These ratings represent aggregate information, rather than information reached by the consensus of the SMEs. To complete the task analysis, the SMEs review a revised list, which shows the tasks in the order of their Criticality. They review the order of the tasks, remove the least critical tasks, and make any necessary revisions to the remaining tasks. The resulting Final Task List establishes which tasks are the most critical to performing the job.

Skill analysis – Once the SMEs understand the definition of a WorkKeys® skill and have determined its relevance to the job, they independently identify the tasks on the Final Task list that require the skill. Using the resulting list of tasks that require the skill, the SMEs then identify the work behaviors that specifically use that skill. For example, they might note that Reading for Information is necessary for performing detailed descriptions of the WorkKeys® skill levels to the SMEs. These descriptions include examples of problems or situations employees deal with at each level. The SMEs decide which skill levels are necessary at the entry level and for effective performance of their job.

Skill ranking – The last step the SMEs take during the job profiling session is to rank the skills included in the profile in terms of their criticality to performing the job. Each SME makes this judgment independently and then the profiler compiles the results of the rankings. The result is a rank ordering of the WorkKeys® skills that are most critical to performing the job.

Whenever profile data will be used to make selection decisions, ACT recommends repeating the profile process with at least one other group of subject matter experts, depending on the number of job incumbents available. The subsequent sessions are called replications. The completed WorkKeys® job profile includes a report that provides employers with job-related criteria that can assist them in making selection, promotion, and training decisions.

Contact the Midlands Workforce Development Board at 737-0253 or jcatoe@mwdb.org to find out how the WorkKeys® job profile system can improve the quality of your selection, training and development plans.

Skills Training

The final component to the WorkKeys® system is skills training. Assessment scores can identify gaps that may exist between employer requirements and individual skill levels. The Midlands Workforce Development Board closes these gaps with WIN (Worldwide Interactive Network) training.

WIN is designed to complement WorkKeys® and operates as a web-based, completely mobile training program. Tutorials and references are offered for each of the WorkKeys® skill areas. Students advance through the levels at their own pace, using post-tests and placement tests to evaluate and chart their progress. The WIN program extends trainers the option to tailor and monitor a student’s program, allowing a maintained focus on selected goals.

WIN also offers career readiness training to help prepare individuals for entry into the job market. Career Readiness Skills focus on three areas: interpersonal relations, self-management and resource management. This courseware presents “real life” workplace scenarios and issues, analyzing the situations through guided lessons and problem-solving techniques. Students are awarded a Career Readiness certificate upon completion to illustrate their skill level and preparation for the workforce.

WIN training lets businesses and instructors target programs to a student’s needs and provides focused education and training to meet both individual and organizational goals. It has the unique ability to supports and guide career development while serving as a professional resource for the business community.

Contact the Midlands Workforce Development Board at 737-0253 or jcatoe@mwdb.org to find out how WIN training can improve the quality of your selection, training and development plans.




How can We help you

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