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November 2004 Newsletter

WorkKeys - A Tool to Link Skills to Occupations

A growing trend in the Northwest Georgia region is the use of WorkKeys by our high schools, technical colleges and employers as an assessment system for employment skills.

The WorkKeys assessment testing measures a person’s ability to learn, listen, communicate, work in teams and solve problems. The WorkKeys’ job profiling component identifies the skills and the WorkKeys’ skill levels an individual must have to perform successfully. By matching the person’s assessment scores to the job profile information, an employer can make more reliable hiring decisions.

The assessments are being used in high schools to determine the skill levels that students possess. In neighboring Carroll County, high schools are assessing all freshmen. The scores the students receive are then matched up to a profiled job. If there is a gap between the scores needed for success in that particular job and the student's actual scores, then the student can work on the areas needing improvement while still in school.

As a junior, students will retake the assessment to determine the level of improvement. Upon graduation, students will then be able to carry with them a credential that tells prospective employers what specific skills and level of skills they possess. The ultimate hope is that more and more businesses will start to use WorkKeys’ scores as part of their hiring criteria.

Some benefits of assessing students as freshmen are:

  • Identifying early in their high school careers any potential weaknesses in the areas of math and reading;
  • Used as a career development tool, WorkKeys connects what students are learning in school, what their desired careers are and how the two are related;
  • Increased parental involvement. Assessment scores are sent home with a letter explaining the WorkKeys’ system.

Workforce Board Training Scheduled

The Workforce Development Network and the National Association of Workforce Boards is hosting a series of National Teleconferences for Workforce Board Leadership. The sessions will be presented by Greg Newton of Greg Newton Associates.

The January 11, 2005 sessions title is “Ten Human Resource Challenges and What Your Workforce Board Can Do to make a Difference.” On April 12, 2005 the sessions will cover “Partnering with Economic Development: Creating the Workforce Advantage.”

Both sessions will be held at Floyd College from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The meeting room will be announced at a later date. WIB members and WIA Providers interested in attending should contact Terri Morgan at tmorgan@cvrdc.org or (706)295-6485.

The Business Services Committee Holds Its First Meeting

The first meeting of the newly organized Business Services Committee, a committee of the Northwest Georgia Workforce Investment Board, was held Tuesday, November 9, 2004. The new committee’s chairman is Glenn Rasco, Vice President of Economic Development, Appalachian Technical College.

The group’s discussion centered around ways to utilize business/employer relations groups in the area as a means to tap into employment needs. This process is actually already underway. Gwen Dellinger has made presentations about WIA to the Employer Committees in Cartersville and Lafayette.

The focus of the group will be to better service businesses as customers. At the next meeting a mission statement will be established.

Regional Healthcare Reps Discuss Employment Issues

Area healthcare and local college representatives met at Barnsley Gardens on October 22, 2004 to discuss employmentLynne Reese concerns and relieve training needs. With the rising need for healthcare workers, training providers are finding it difficult to meet the growing demand.

The group held its first meeting in 2002 with a brainstorming session to determine the most beneficial way to use grant funds that were available at the time. At that meeting the group was able to share concerns about the overwhelming task of filling positions with qualified candidates. They have continued to meet to work on these issues.

At the October meeting, Carmen Dill from West Central Technical College shared with the group the WorkKeys’ system and demonstrated how WorkKeys’ assessment testing evaluates job applicants.

Lynne Reese of Northwest Georgia RESA also presented the group with information about the youth apprenticeship program. This program helps youth focus on career goals while assisting them in finding work in their chosen fields. WIA funds provide the employment wages for the WIA participants in the apprentice program.

Blue Ridge AHEC will be presenting at the next meeting. Date to be announced.

Dates to Remember

  • Southeastern Employment and Training Association (SETA) will hold its Spring 2005 Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC at Kingston Plantation. Conference dates are March 13-16, 2005.
  • Summit on the Rural South will be held in Point Clear , Alabama June 12-14, 2005. Conference location is the Grand Hotel Point Clear Resort on Mobile Bay. For more information call: (919) 941-5145
  • Ten Human Resource Challenges and What Your Workforce Board Can Do To Make A Difference. Presented by Greg Newton via teleconference at Floyd College, January 11, 2005.
  • Improve Your Bottom Line One Person at a Time, WorkKeys Southeastern Regional Conference. January 26-28, 2005, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • National Association of Workforce Board’s Forum 2005, March 3-5, 2005 in Washington D.C. at the Renaissance Washington D.C. 
  • Partnering with Economic Development: Creating the Workforce Advantage Presented by Greg Newton via teleconference at Floyd College, April 12, 2005

National Honor Awarded to Dr. Harlon Crimm of Chattahoochee Technical College

The Board of Directors of Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC) announced that President Harlon D. Crimm has been selected as the National Pacesetter of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations for Exemplary Executive Leadership and Support of Public Relations and Marketing. Dr. Crimm is the first College President in Georgia to receive this national award.

CTC, under Dr. Crimm’s direction, continues to meet the growing needs of the citizens of Cobb and Paulding Counties. They have grown to four campus locations and offer a wide variety of certificate, diploma, and associate of applied technology degree programs. Chattahoochee Technical College’s Economic Development/Continuing Education Department plans to expand its role in the business community by increasing industry certification programs and implementing new technology-based programs in both credit and non-credit areas.

Rockmart High WIA Participant Honored

Congratulations to Steven Stokes, a member of the Rockmart High School RVI/VOCA Chapter for being named the Focus on Abilities Council’s “Student of the Year.” Steven participates in the Workforce Investment Act Apprenticeship Program at RHS. He works as an auto mechanic at a local auto repair shop. Steven has been enrolled in the Automotive Technology Class at RHS for the past 4 years. He will be attending Nashville Auto Diesel College after high school. Congratulations to Steven on his outstanding accomplishments.

WIA Participant Inducted Into The Honor Society

Northwest Georgia RESA Youth Apprentice, Peggy Cochran will be inducted into the Psi Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year schools.  Peggy has just 300 hours left to complete her apprenticeship with the LaFayette Department of Labor. Members of the honor society must complete at least 12 hours of credit and maintain a 3.5 GPA. Peggy is earning her credit hours at Floyd College in Rome while participating in the RESA apprenticeship program.

Congratulations to both Steven and Peggy!


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