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Free ACT and WorkKeys Test for Kansas Juniors Also Helps Businesses

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GALENA, KANSAS -

 Kansas is joining other states in paying for high school students to take the ACT test or the WorkKeys assessment in their junior year.
One helps them get into college but the other puts them on a fast track to paying jobs.


Galena students are some of the first to be back to school. The new school  year   brings juniors good news: a free chance to take the ACT.
Junior Adyson De Cocq was relieved,  "I looked into it a couple times. It seems kind of expensive  because you're gonna have to take it more than once if you want to better your grade."


But southeast Kansas school officials say equally important is another option. Taking the WorkKeys test from ACT which can earn students a National Career Readiness Certification.

Galena principal Toby Van Cleave explained, "The area businesses use  those results and testing data to help recruit employees so it’s good that that’s going to be free."


The commissioner of education in Kansas said predicted demand is for twenty percent of jobs in the state to  require a four-year degree.
          And  a seventy-one percent demand for students with something above high school like technical certifications. 


Columbus high school counselor Nicki Strickland agreed,  "Lots of kids on a technical  path or if they’re just wanting to get a job, WorkKeys is perfect  for them. Columbus is in a work ready county and a lot of our employers use WorkKeys to determine what jobs you qualify for."
 

Crossland Construction is one of twenty-seven Cherokee  county companies which uses the WorkKeys assessment when hiring  and it can pay off for the students financially.

Crossland Human Resources Director Jill Brennan explained, “Crossland has a group of employees who do earn some additional compensation based on the level of WorkKeys  they scored when they took the test. The  higher the level,  the higher the pay."


WorkKeys has three sections that cover academics through applied math, graphic literacy and reading comprehension for workplace documents. Workkeys helps companies evaluate candidates.

Brennan said, “I think the kids that come to us with a silver, gold or platinum are automatically able to enter a career path  here at Crossland.  That puts them on an accelerated career path so they’re able to  earn credentials quicker and sooner than other candidates who don’t have that score."

 
And students, who are encouraged to take the ACT and WorkKeys more than once,  get one test free.

    
 

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