Michigan ‘Work Ready’ Initiative: Gov. Snyder Urges Employers To Look At Standardized High School Test Scores

The Michigan Work Ready Communities Initiative, backed by support from Michigan’s Governor Snyder, will encourage employers to use results from standardized tests given to every Michigan high school junior as a hiring tool. Snyder encouraged Michigan employers to look at applicants’ National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and the ACT WorkKeys test scores during the hiring process for new employees.

“The Michigan Work Ready Communities Initiative is another step in improving the quality of the workforce in Michigan,” said Snyder in a presentation, according to MLIVE.

Snyder wants more Michigan employers to ask for applicants’ National Career Readiness Certificate along with their resumes, according to WZZM.

Snyder also wants more parents and teens to think differently about skilled-trade and career-tech opportunities, instead of just assuming an education at a 4-year college or university, according to the Holland Sentinel.

Snyder asserted that thousands of high tech jobs in Michigan remain open and the information from the standardized testing given to Michigan juniors in high school could help identify potential candidates for these positions. Snyder believes the Michigan Work Ready Communities Initiative’s program will help resolve the “talent disconnect” and asserted that it “is the number one item we need to work on.”

“This program is the right move for our state,” Snyder, of the Michigan Work Ready Communities Initiative, said. “It provides a universal system of assessing workers’ skills and abilities for employers, as well as promoting workers’ development and improvement.”

Diego Arvico was packing boxes at a Michigan-based company when the company’s officials noticed Arvico’s high tests scores. Arvico was then trained as a CNC setup technician.

“The ACT WorkKeys tests evaluate a person’s cognitive skills in applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information,” according to Jim Harger of MLIVE. “Those skills are considered broadly relevant across most industries and occupations.”

Not everyone in Michigan is happy with the governor’s request, social media shows.

“This guy is unreal,” one MLIVE subscriber wrote. “‘URGING’ employers to use a test that is taken when the frontal lobe is not fully developed and the kids have many years of learning and maturing ahead of them? If all employers ended up using the ACT for hiring this would be one more reason many people are left in the dust.”

“So here’s a tip Rick…why don’t you bring back the trade programs,” another MLIVE subscriber wrote. “You know the classes that common core doesn’t want you to teach because they might actually learn something? Bring back vocational schools and start the apprentice programs.”

“The initiative leverages the strong investment the state has made in the NCRC and WorkKeys system,” Kevin Stotts, president of Talent 2025, said. “Michigan is among 17 states that have embraced the Work Ready initiative and we’re proud to be part of the broad coalition that has made Michigan one of these states.”