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NCRC testing gives job applicants an advantage

By Staff | Mar 26, 2011

Individuals looking for work may want to take advantage of a free testing program at Iowa Lakes Community College which can enhance their chances of getting a job.

The test called WorkKeys was designed by ACT, a nationally recognized independent organization which provides a broad range of educational assessment tools. The testing helps identify job skills which applicants possess.

Following the testing, a certificate is awarded (National Career Readiness Certificate) in each of three areas: applied math, reading for information and the ability to locate information. Bronze, silver, gold and platinum certificates are awarded, based on the skill level of each participant.

Deborah Clark, Success Center Instructor at Iowa Lakes, is credentialed as an Iowa NCRC Test Administrator.

“We are conducting this with IowaWorks (Northwest Iowa) so that it’s available to residents in this region,” Clark said.

She attended a training workshop in Des Moines late last year.

“As a WorkKeys test administrator, I can travel to each of our campus locations to administer this test so that individuals can take the test at the location most convenient for them,” she said. “Eventually, we’ll have this available at all of the Success Centers at Iowa Lakes.”

This isn’t just for the unemployed.

“I would encourage those who may currently be employed, but are looking for a better job, to consider taking this as it will give them a ‘preferred’ status when searching for new employment,” Clark said.

The test is free through June 30, thanks to a grant from the Iowa Workforce Development office. It takes about four hours and all three exams must be completed in one session.

The next exam in this area will be at the Spencer campus of Iowa Lakes on Monday, April 4 from 5-9 p.m. Those interested must contact Clark because space is limited and attendees must register in advance for the testing session.

Clark can be reached at dclark@iowalakes.edu or call any Iowa Lakes campus and ask for extension 6564.

While the tests are not mandatory, a number of area businesses see the value of this and have joined a consortium which endorses the testing process.

Employers and agencies in this region who have signed an official letter of commitment include: Advance Services Ltd, Ag Partners LLC; Arnold Motor Supply/The Merrill Company; Brown Medical Industries; Compass Pointe; Cycle Country Accessories Corp.; Daybreak Foods & The Best Egg Company Inc; Dethmers Manufacturing Company; Doll Distributing LLC; Eaton Employees Credit Union; Eaton Hydraulics; and, Employment Connections, Inc.

Others involved are: Family Table of Spencer Ltd; GKN Armstrong Wheel; Grape Tree Medical Staffing, Inc.; Hilltop Care Center; Hormel Foods Corp.; Hostess Brands; Iowa Lakes Community College; Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation; Kossuth/Palo Alto Economic Development Corporation; Land Mark Products Inc.; Mauer Manufacturing d.b.a. Lakes Enterprises; Northwest Iowa Community College; On Eagles’ Wings; Pure Fishing; R & D Industries Inc.; Results; ROC Management & Associates Inc.; City of Spencer; Spencer Municipal Utilities; and, Tecton Industries.

More employers are being added each week by IowaWORKS.