Taking the Guesswork Out of Hiring

About 75 percent of today's workforce needs training just to keep the jobs they currently have, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says. To boost its...
by | October 14, 2007

About 75 percent of today's workforce needs training just to keep the jobs they currently have, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says. To boost its residents' readiness, Florida launched a new workforce recruitment tool that tests and scores a job applicant's skills and work habits. The $17 million state program helps businesses pinpoint specific skills needed for a job, gives job-seekers proof that they have the skills employers want, and helps schools and colleges align their curricula to meet workforce demands. To participate in Florida Ready to Work, a job-seeker must take three tests -- Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information -- and score at least 3 out of a possible 7 on each to be certified. Research shows that these tests measure the fundamental workplace skills required for more than 85 percent of all jobs. There is also an optional test that measures attitude, behavior and customer-service skills. If these tests show that a job-seeker needs improvement in any of the skill areas, the program offers free online courses. During its pilot phase, it issued about 15,000 credentials and signed up about 40 employers. To learn more, visit www.floridareadytowork.com.