Career certification test picking up steam
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
The new career certification test is beginning to pick up popularity.
During Tuesday’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting, board member Gary See discussed the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).
“It was kind of an interesting discussion,” began See. “All the schools in Henry County are participating in the NCRC and this certification goes beyond a GED, diploma, associates degree and so on. It measures what you can do at the job you are applying for, your skills.”
According to information received from the American College Testing (ACT) website, there are four different levels that one can achieve on the NCRC, which are platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Each level tells the employer the skills of that applicant.
“It doesn’t measure what you’ve done in the past, but what you can do now,” explained See. “It will tell the employer where you are at with the skills you have at this point. There is one business in the area who has instituted the NCRC and that is American Ordinance in Middletown. You won’t get hired there unless you reach at least the bronze level.”
See said that 4,350 Iowans have taken the certification and of those, most of them are adults.
The NCRC is a portable credential that demonstrates achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in applied mathematic, locating information and reading for information, the ACT website said.
The certification, according to the ACT website, will bring even greater accuracy to predictions about an individual’s success at work or in training. It will measure ‘real world’ skills that employers believe are critical to job success. Test questions are based on situations in the everyday work world. The individual will be ranked on the following skills:
Work discipline – productivity and dependability
Teamwork – tolerance, communication and attitude
Customer service orientation – interpersonal skills and perseverance
Managerial potential – persuasion, enthusiasm and problem-solving
“I thought it was interesting,” said See. “But, it could be a problem for someone who has been out of school for awhile. It can be taken again, and it’s also a good tool to have so you know where you stand when you apply for a job.”
Next up in board business was Henry County Engineer Jake Hotchkiss’s weekly report.
“I have a couple motions for you to approve,” said Hotchkiss. “The first motion is to make Lloyd E. McIntyre an assistant for the county road department, effective April 2.”
The board approved the hiring of McIntyre.
“He’s from Henry County as he lives in the northern part and has been working for Keokuk County for about 10 years. He wants to be able to be closer to home,” explained Hotchkiss. “I think it will be a good move for the county and he will be able to help with construction projects and for our needs in the county.”
The engineer then asked the board to approve the dust control permits for Binns and Stevens, Heffron Services, Oakridge Services and Whaley’s for services they will provide in the county.
“We set the dates for dust control last week and now these providers have their applications in,” Hotchkiss said. “Last year we had three providers, this year we will have four. It’s good for the county.”
The board approved the permits.
“The bridge inspector told us we needed to add a sign to the bridge on Nashua Avenue, which is just north of 120th street. It would be in the Scott Township,” he said. “It turns into a dirt road and the bridge is deteriorating. We have never had a sign posted there before, but it was suggested to post an 18-ton weight limit sign before the bridge.”
The board approved of the engineer posting a sign for an 18-ton weight limit on the bridge.
Next week, Hotchkiss will be presenting his five-year construction plan to the board.
“We have some small projects that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks, mainly culverts and things like that,” said Hotchkiss. “Also I’m looking at purchasing a new mechanics service truck. The one we have now has worn out of its usefulness. The real reason is the frame on the truck will need to be replaced.
“I would like it (the new truck) to have an air compressor and a crane on it. It would be nice to have the ability to fix something out there in the field. It will add some functionality for our guys out there. It does have a cost to it, but we will look for what is a good fit for the county,” said Hotchkiss.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again in regular session on Thursday, March 27, at 9 a.m. in the board room at the courthouse.