The Southeastern Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, the Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Gateway Technical College are partnering together to conduct an evaluation of the leading work skills assessment programs currently being utilized in the United States. Work skills assessment programs measure competencies in areas that directly correlate with employee job performance (reading comprehension, math skills, soft skills, interpersonal skills, etc.). Some assessment programs also incorporate remediation support and work readiness certificates.
The evaluation will include a surface analysis of 11 assessment programs and then an in-depth analysis of the three programs that are determined to hold the most promise to fulfill the needs of the Southeastern Wisconsin workforce. In an effort to gauge community needs and interests in this area, the evaluation will also include interviews and focus groups with leaders from the business, economic development, and education communities. The eventual goal of the research is to select one work skills assessment program that will be piloted in the region in 2009. This decision will ultimately be employer driven so that the assessment program selected will have clear utility for both the employers and job seekers. Results of this study will be posted on the partners' websites and will be shared at public forums.
Funding for this project has been provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative. The WIRED initiative is designed to address the critical role that talent plays in regional economic development and energize the nation's economy through regional development partnerships and workforce education and training. Questions about this project may be directed to Racine County Workforce Development Youth Team Leader Mark Gesner (email@example.com or 638-6622).