UB offers assessment system to measure workplace skills

The system, ACT® WorkKeys®, is open to the Western New York community and provided by UB TCIE

By Tracy Puckett

Release Date: October 11, 2016

“WorkKeys is a standard way to measure someone’s skills and affords a potential employer confidence in someone’s cognitive capabilities and level of readiness.”
Timothy Leyh
UB TCIE executive director
Timothy Leyh, UB TCIE executive director

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) is now a provider of ACT WorkKeys, a national assessment system that measures an individual’s workplace skills. TCIE is the sole system provider in the Western New York counties of Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany.

WorkKeys features a number of cognitive assessments appropriate for any industry, including three primary tests that form the base for achieving one of the nation’s most recognized portable work readiness credentials. Successful completion of Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information assessments earns the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC) and demonstrates possession of foundational skills that are deemed essential to a range of jobs.

“WorkKeys is a standard way to measure someone’s skills and affords a potential employer confidence in someone’s cognitive capabilities and level of readiness,” said Timothy Leyh, executive director of TCIE.  

Employers not only use the assessments during the recruitment process, but as a tool to help define the skills of incumbent employees for training, reassignment and promotion. The benefits to individuals are learning their strengths and weaknesses in pursuit of advancing their career goals, and the opportunity to boost their resume by adding the NCRC.

National workforce development expert Martin Scaglione – former president and COO of ACT’s Workforce Development Division who launched the National Career Readiness system – said these assessments should not be used in isolation as a predictor of job success. Rather, results should be viewed in combination with an individual’s educational background, years of experience, references and soft skills.  

Scaglione, currently president and CEO of Hope Street Group, was in Buffalo last week at Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s manufacturing month kickoff event to discuss attracting and retaining manufacturing workers. Speaking about the uniqueness of the manufacturing sector, he pointed to the diverse skills required of operating various machines and the differing cultures at each facility, a result of no overarching industry regulations aside from U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.   

“With that said, from a manufacturing perspective, it’s important to have measures of cognition to use as a base for preparing to work in those environments,” he said.

The three NCRC assessments are an ideal set of measures for manufacturing, Scaglione said, because competency in math, locating information through such tools as charts and production outputs, and reading comprehension are necessary for any position.

TCIE offers the assessments online, administered on the UB North campus. Every first Wednesday and third Monday of the month are reserved as testing days. Pre-registration is required. For each of the three NCRC assessments, up to 45 minutes is permitted for completion. Test takers receive their scores immediately. Additional WorkKeys assessments that measure other skills are available upon request.

To register for an assessment and for more information, call TCIE at 716-645-8800.

UB TCIE is Western New York's bridge to excellence; it provides a dynamic link between UB’s expert resources and the region’s business community. Its core focus on engineering solutions and operational excellence drives continual improvements, and ignites innovation and technological advantages. For more information on how TCIE can assist Western New York businesses, visit www.tcie.buffalo.edu or call 716-645-8800.

Media Contact Information

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