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Governor's Column: The Value of the National Career Readiness Certificate


            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, October 30, 2015

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212


EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:  Please consider the following column from Gov. Dennis Daugaard. For an audio recording of the Governor’s weekly column, visit news.sd.gov/media.aspx and click on “Audio” under “Governor Dennis Daugaard.”



The Value of the National Career Readiness Certificate


A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:


When a business needs to hire a new employee, there’s a lot to consider. An applicant’s previous jobs, education and the recommendations of others are all part of the equation. These things are important; but when it comes down to it, managers are really just looking for someone who will succeed on the job.


This is where the National Career Readiness Certificate comes in.


This certificate, known as the NCRC, has been used by employers across the nation for nearly 20 years. It consists of three assessments developed by ACT, the college entrance exam company. The assessments measure an individual’s ability in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information.


The applied mathematics section measures math reasoning, critical thinking and problem-solving techniques for work-related problems. Reading for information tests how well an applicant can read and comprehend different types of work-related materials, from memos and bulletins to policy manuals and government regulations. A third test measures how well an applicant can locate information when drawing from materials such as diagrams, floor plans, tables, forms and graphs.


Regardless of occupation, the assessments can provide reliable, relevant information about an individual’s abilities.


ACT has profiled more than 20,000 individual jobs across the country to determine the level needed for success at any particular job. An NCRC can be earned at four levels.  The Platinum level indicates an individual has the skill level needed for 99 percent of the jobs in the database. If one earns the Gold level, it means one has the skills for 90 percent; Silver, skills for 65 percent; and Bronze, skills for 35 percent.


The Department of Labor and Regulation offers NCRC assessments to any job seeker. Since testing began six years ago, nearly 12,000 South Dakotans have earned an NCRC and, compared to the national average, our job seekers consistently have attained higher levels.


I’m happy to say that I’ve taken the three tests myself. I completed the core assessments a few weeks ago to become more familiar with the certificate, and I’ve challenged my cabinet and staff to do the same.


After taking the test myself, I’d encourage businesses to become more familiar with the NCRC. Even if applicants are lacking in academic certificates or diplomas, they may still have the right work skills. The NCRC can indicate when that is the case. The NCRC benefits job seekers and employers, and it’s a valuable tool for a state that is experiencing workforce shortages.