Oregon now has over 25,000 certified, work-ready individuals, thanks to Oregon’s National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) program. Launched by Governor Kitzhaber in 2011, the certification gives job applicants a competitive edge in the job market by providing verification of the skills sought by employers.
“Aligning the skills of Oregon’s workforce with the needs of our business community is critical to creating jobs now while positioning our state to be more competitive in the global economy,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Today’s businesses want to locate and grow in places with a talented workforce ready to get the job done.”
The NCRC certifies that workers have the key foundational skills and industry-specific training needed to compete for jobs, while helping businesses find the right employees to boost productivity. To date, almost 1,000 Oregon businesses have added their names to a growing list of those who prefer to recruit job applicants with an NCRC. Site Selector Magazine recently added the number of individuals with an NCRC (per 1,000 residents) to its criteria when ranking the best states for business.
“I wish I’d taken the NCRC sooner,” said Jared Comfort, who was hired at A.R.E. Manufacturing in Newberg after earning his NCRC. “It added to my confidence and provides a way to document my abilities.”
In addition, Oregon is leveraging its investment in the NCRC to become one of the first states to participate in the national “Certified Work Ready Communities” initiative. Under this initiative, both rural and urban Oregon counties are working to become certified as “work ready” to better attract businesses and industry.
To earn an NCRC, individuals complete three to four hours of proctored assessments in applied math, reading, and locating information. The foundational skills documented by the NCRC are used in varying degrees in nearly every type of job. The NCRC provides employers with a tool to help them select and hire new employees who already have the required skills for the job.
Employers and job seekers can learn more about the Oregon NCRC program at: www.oregonworkready.com.