Florida Ready to Work
Florida Ready to Work is an innovative, new workforce education and economic development program. The centerpiece of the program is the Florida Ready to Work credential, a career readiness certificate – signed by Governor Charlie Crist – that certifies that a Florida student/jobseeker has the fundamental job skills necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly changing and competitive economy.
Florida Ready to Work is sponsored and funded by the State of Florida. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Education in partnership with the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.
The program is being implemented by regional workforce boards, community colleges, high schools, and other workforce development and education partners statewide.
Florida Ready to Work …
- Provides student/jobseekers with a standard credential that certifies their workplace readiness and ability to succeed on the job.
- Saves employers time and money by taking the guesswork out of the hiring process.
- Helps educators and workforce development partners prepare today’s students/jobseekers for tomorrow’s jobs.
- Helps attract businesses with high-wage jobs to Florida which will grow Florida’s economy.
The program is funded by the State of Florida. There is no cost – other than time – for jobseekers or employers to participate in the program.
How The Program Works
Here’s how Florida Ready to Work “works” for students and jobseekers:
- The student/jobseeker signs up to participate in the program at a participating Assessment Center – high school, regional workforce board one-stop center, community college, technical center or other program partner.
- The student/jobseeker takes online Placement tests in three skill areas: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. Research shows that these tests measure the fundamental “workplace” math, reading and problem-solving skills required for more than 85 percent of all jobs today.
- If the Placement tests show that the student/jobseeker needs improvement in any of the skill areas, the program provides free online Courseware. The online Courseware can be accessed from any computer anywhere, anytime.
- When ready, the student/jobseeker takes the proctored Assessments in Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information at a participating Assessment Center.
- The student/jobseeker is awarded a Florida Ready to Work Credential, signed by Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
- The student/jobseeker provides the credential to potential employers as proof that they have the skills to get the job done.
- Employers request and use the credential when advertising and hiring new employees and to evaluate the skills of current employees.
- Skill Building – Once a jobseeker has enrolled in the program, the first step is to take an online Placement test in each of the Florida Ready to Work skill areas – Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information. The program offers online Courseware to help student/jobseekers develop their skills, improve their scores and prepare for the job they want. The online Placement tests and Courseware are free and can be accessed from any computer, anywhere, anytime.
- WorkKeys®Assessments– To earn the Florida Ready to Work Credential, a student/jobseeker must take three proctored Assessments- Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information.
These three Assessments were selected because 1) research shows that these three fundamental skills are necessary for more than 85 percent of all jobs today; and 2) these core skills are the basis for most other career readiness programs across the country, providing national portability.
The Assessments are generally scored on a scale from 3 to 7. The higher the student/jobseeker scores, the greater his/her ability to perform more complex tasks and qualify for a broader range of jobs. Student/jobseekers can re-take the Assessments to improve their score at any time.
- Florida Ready to Work Credential – The personalized certificate, signed by Governor Charlie Crist, that shows a student/jobseeker is ready to work. There are three credential levels – bronze, silver and gold. To earn a bronze credential, the student/jobseeker must score a minimum of 3 on each test (math, reading and locating information). For silver a minimum of 4 is required, and for gold a minimum of 5 is required. The credential level – bronze, silver, gold – is determined by the minimum or lowest score across all three tests. For example, a student/jobseeker who scores a 4 in math, 4 in reading and 3 in locating information earns a bronze certificate because the lowest of the three scores is 3.
- Work Habits – Work Habits measures workplace attitude, behavior and character skills: interpersonal interaction; listening and speaking; cooperation and respect; self management; resource management; time management; quality management; customer service; and problem solving. Work Habits is recommended but not required to earn the Florida Ready to Work credential. Student/jobseekers who successfully complete Work Habits receive a “Work Habits Certified” seal on their Florida Ready to Work credential.
- Job Profiling – The process for identifying the fundamental skills and skill levels necessary for a specific job/occupation.
Job profiles are developed by trained and certified job profilers. The process includes collecting job task information from the company, interviews/focus groups with employees and managers, on-the-job observation of employees at work, and review/analysis of national job data. The result is a detailed, customized report listing all job-related tasks, key skills and corresponding skill levels required for the job.
More than 13,000 jobs have been profiled nationally; many more than one time. For example, an emergency room nurse and a nurse in a doctor’s office have similar job titles, but each job requires different skills and different skill levels.
Florida Ready to Work takes the job profiles for similar jobs, like a nurse, and develops an occupational profile. The occupational profile lists the skills and skill levels required for the occupation. Students/jobseekers can use these occupational profiles to explore careers, identify occupations for which they are qualified, and pinpoint the skills they need to improve in order to compete for the job they want.