Just over 60 percent of Alabama’s 2016 high school graduates scored “workforce ready” in 2016, according to new results from ACT’s WorkKeys assessment. The Class of 2016’s success rate, 61.3 percent, improves on the 60.8 percent rate for the Class of 2015. And because a greater number of students took the test in 2016, the Class of 2016 produced more workforce ready graduates: 28,717 compared to 2015’s total of 25,453, netting an increase of 3,264 graduates earning Silver level or above workforce credentials.
This is the second year that all high school seniors were offered the WorkKeys assessment, a battery of tests designed to determine whether students can demonstrate the skills they’ll need to enter the workforce. ACT WorkKeys assessments have been used for more than two decades by job seekers, employees, employers, students, educators, administrators, and workforce and economic developers. The assessments are designed to measure both cognitive (“hard”) and noncognitive (“soft”) skills tests. Alabama students take the Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information tests. Based on the scores attained on the three assessments, students may be eligible to earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Certificate.
Statewide, 61.3 percent of high school graduates earned a Silver level WorkKeys certificate or higher; 47 percent reached the Silver level and 15 percent earned a Gold certificate. Less than 1 percent earned a Platinum Level Certificate. Of the students tested, 23 percent earned a bronze level certification and 16 percent didn’t score high enough to obtain a credential.
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