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Chamber Launches New Tool to Identify Job Skills

Thursday, June 2, 2005 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber's Center for Workforce Preparation (CWP) announced a new program to provide an assessment-based certification that affirms that entry-level job seekers have communication, interpersonal, decision-making, and lifelong learning skills.

"The Equipped for the Future Work Readiness Credential represents a unique alliance of state government and business leaders to meet critical goals for ensuring a competitive workforce and a productive business sector," said Karen Elzey, CWP senior program officer. "It will provide a tool for screening applicants thereby reducing businesses hiring and rehiring costs."

CWP, working with other partners, seeks to streamline the hiring process by identifying a work-ready pool of job applicants; to assist workforce development systems with referring work-ready applicants to their business customers and to help individuals develop the knowledge and skills required in the 21st century workplace.

The credential is based on the skills identified by more than 600 businesses as critical for performance of entry-level work. A national field test of the assessment is scheduled to begin this fall.

The Work Readiness Credential is funded through the investment of five states—Florida, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington—and the District of Columbia. CWP brings its marketing, partnership development, and business acumen to a project team that includes the research and assessment development expertise of SRI International, HumRRO, the University of Tennessee's Center for Literacy Studies, the Center for Applied Linguistics, and WestED. Dr. Sondra Stein, who has managed the project since its inception at the National Institute for Literacy, joins the CWP project team.

Commenting on the value of the work readiness credential, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Workforce Dana Egreczky said "when I told my board about the work readiness credential, I got the most positive response I've seen to any idea I've floated in my 10 years with the chamber."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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