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The Need: Entry-Level Workers with the Skills to Move Up

Employers seek workers with strong basic skills to work smart and grow on the job. They are prepared to invest in job candidates who can learn independently, benefit from training, take on new responsibilities, and move up the career ladder.

The Solution: CASAS Workforce Skills Certification System (WSCS)

Document and develop employer-validated academic and soft skills and facilitate transition to the workforce with the Workforce Skills Certification System.

  • Assess and profile the work-related academic and soft skills a person currently demonstrates – from entry-level skill levels through 1st line supervisor positions
  • Develop skills to assist those not ready for certification
  • Certify work-related skills at a level to ensure success in postsecondary training and the workforce

The People: Learning, Looking, Working

The Workforce Skills Certification System is for youth and adults entering the workforce, transitioning to work, incumbent workers, and dislocated workers, including:

  • Individuals in correctional settings preparing for release and parolees participating in reentry programs
  • Unemployed and underemployed individuals
  • Individuals reentering the labor market including TANF clients preparing for work
  • English language learners, Adult Basic Education learners, and GED learners

The Skills: Focus on Work Readiness

Employers who know the academic and interpersonal skills of candidates are better able to determine who will succeed in specific jobs. WSCS documents and certifies the work readiness competencies identified by employers as necessary for entry-level employment and career advancement. The skills measured by the Workforce Skills Certificate are aligned with the Skills for the 21st Century.

Academic Skills
Measure Reading and Math skills with multiple choice test items using content taken from common work settings. Results are reported using National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Levels (EFL) accepted by both the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to track academic skill achievement.  

Assess Critical thinking and problem solving skills with multiple choice and short written essay formats. Examinees demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills by responding to industry-based scenarios in the following areas:

  • Processing Data and Money Transactions
  • Helping People and Maintaining Safety
  • Analyzing Production and Promoting Teamwork
  • Providing Customer Service and Solutions
  • Working with Materials and Measurement

Soft Skills
Measure soft skills and effective workplace behaviors with video-based assessments that present realistic work-based scenarios. Go to to view sample videos.

  • Personal Qualities – integrity, responsibility, self-esteem, self-management, sociability
  • Customer Care – customer relations, decision-making, commitment to quality
I sent 5 students to check out a recent job lead, and they were given a green lane straight through to the job interviewer. How much cooler does that get? Needless to say, {our Learning Center} is SWAMPED! ~ Santa Fe Springs Computerized Literacy Learning Center (CLLC)


The Process: A System for Success

Step 1: Profile Skills

Candidates take the assessments and receive a Workforce Skills Profile Report that lists the skills demonstrated by the candidate. Candidates can attach the Profile to their resume when applying for a job. Potential employers highly value this information when looking for qualified job candidates. For those working under Workforce Investment Act (WA), the academic scores can be used to meet federal reporting requirements.

Step 2: Develop Skills

Candidates participate in classes/training designed around the work-related academic and soft skills and competencies employers are looking for - making the best use of training time. The specific skills to be developed are clearly spelled out in easy-to-read learner-level reports (generated locally) based on results from employer-validated assessment tools. Instructors and programs can use Quick Search Online to locate and sort instructional resources by WSCS competencies and learner skill levels to identify instructional materials that can be ordered from publishers.

Step 3: Certify Skills

Candidates are administered the additional certification assessment components when they demonstrate specified skill levels on the Workforce Skills Profile. Those achieving certification levels are awarded a Workforce Skills Certificate, which documents to employers that they have all of the high-level skills needed to succeed and move up the career ladder.

The Details: Get Started Today

Scoring and Test Format
WSCS uses computer-delivered testing that includes multiple choice, generated (written) response, and video simulations. Scores are captured in a locally managed database. A Workforce Skills Profile is generated locally for each test taker. Reports are available that identify the test taker’s current skills as well as the skills to master to move to a higher level. Students meeting the certification standards are issued a Workforce Skills Certificate which can be printed locally.

Testing Locations and Sites
WSCS can be part of a statewide strategy, or may be used by individual programs trained by CASAS.  The Workforce Skills Certification System is administered and awarded at a local, regional, or state level by organizations including chambers of commerce, business associations, workforce investment boards, and educational institutions.

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