Here’s a testimonial from CMAP (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) about the Elgin Area Workforce Development Partnership in its new Manufacturing Cluster Report, Page 95. Manheim Solutions, Inc. has been the Partnership’s contractor since 2009 conducting the majority of NCRC calls, as well as conducting WorkKeys Job Profiles to businesses throughout Northern Illinois.
Review the CMAP report at http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/20583/1304889/FULL-#43;Technical-%2343;Report-%2343;web.pdf/fb48b993-38cd-4e46-970c-b3b4825d5deb
The Elgin area has developed a robust partnership around improving worker skills. The collaboration is led by the Elgin Community College, the Elgin Area Chamber, and Elgin Unified School District #46 and engages stakeholders across the industry, several governmental entities, foundations, nonprofits, and other entities including Pace suburban bus service. The partnership has developed into a tight network in which manufacturers are talking with educators about how their workforce is performing and what gaps need to be filled.
One of the group’s key efforts is towards ensuring that every Elgin High School graduate earns an ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).190 At the base level, the NCRC tests measure workplace competencies, similar to how the college prep ACT measures academic aptitude.191 The NCRC work keys test information synthesis; problem solving; critical thinking; reading and using written, work-related text; applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems; setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculating; locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically; and comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in graphical form. This partnership is an exemplar in the region — demonstrating a best practice where industry leaders are knowledgeable and influential in driving the training programs and engaged in curriculum development while ensuring that what students are learning will be applicable in the workplace.