Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin yesterday announced a new program as part of her administration's commitment to Alaska's workforce development. The Work Ready/College Ready program allows students and adult job-seekers to gauge their readiness for work, college and occupational training, and to improve the basic skills valued by employers and educators. The Alaska Departments of Education and Early Development, and Labor and Workforce Development are program sponsors.

Work Ready/College Ready provides an opportunity for Alaskans to be assessed in three basic skill areas -- applied math, reading for information and locating information in graphic formats -- that are critical to transitioning from high school to the workplace, college or occupational training.

"This is the type of partnership I envisioned when I took office and pledged that Alaskans would be prepared for jobs," Palin said. "It shows what can be accomplished when school, work, business and industry speak the same language and share the same goals for work readiness."

After an assessment, participants can enroll in Web-based courses to improve their performance in certain skills. The training is individualized, self-paced, targeted to the basic transitional skills and delivered in a work-related, applied context. The assessments and curriculum -- which are all available online -- may be accessed through the public schools, at home or in any state job center.

Participants can receive a nationally recognized Career Readiness Certificate that demonstrates their basic workplace skills. More than 40 states issue the certificates, which business, industry and some postsecondary institutions recognize as a valuable credential.


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