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  • If you have the skills that employers need, finding a job is easy! But how do you know what those skills are -- and how can you let employers know you're really qualified? Read on ... that's what the new Work-Ready Certification is all about.

    What is Work-Ready Certification?

    It is a new program designed to verify that students have the basic workplace skills Sonoma County businesses require. Student skills are "tested" by employer groups and certificates are awarded only to those students who the employers determine are work-ready.

     

    How were the work-ready skills determined?

    Over 200 Sonoma County businesses and employers responded to surveys and skill outlines based on national employment trends. Specific requirements for entry-level employment in Sonoma County were defined from these survey responses and related focus group meetings. The resulting document, Top Ten Skills PLUS! (pdf), summarizes the skills that Sonoma County employers say students need to begin work.

     

    How can I find out about and learn work-readiness skills?

    Work readiness is not a class or course. The skills are taught in career pathway classes at local high schools, in work experience programs, and by youth service agencies. Required academic skills -- like reading and math -- are taught in core academic classes. Brochures describing the skills required and how the certification process works are available in the counseling offices of all Sonoma County high schools.

     

    How can I get Work-Ready Certification?

    You'll begin by collecting the required materials and documentation, then request an assessment date. Documents related to reading and math proficiency, attendance and behavior records, and community service patterns will be reviewed. An oral interview with business leaders will assess "personality and attitude" elements and customer service understanding. There is also an online assessment of technology and customer service skills. If you're successful, you'll be awarded certification. If you don't satisfy all the requirements, you'll have the opportunity to fill gaps and try the assessment again.

     

    Why would I want to get Work-Ready Certification?

    Holding a Work-Ready Certificate will give you a distinct advantage when you apply for a job. You will stand out to prospective employers and you'll have extra confidence knowing you have the skills you need to land a great job.

     

    How do I get more information?

    For more information about Work-Ready Certification, contact Dan Blake, career development specialist at the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), (707) 524-2780 or dblake@scoe.org. The work readiness certificate is a project of the Sonoma County Office of Education, Regional Occupational Program (ROP), Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board, and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. It was developed in conjuction with New Ways to Work.

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