At the subcommittee’s direction, staff followed up with the National Institute for Literacy on the options available for New York State participation in the development of the certificate for worker readiness built around the standards as outlined in Equipped for the Future.

NIFL advised that the assessment framework and tools are just being completed and will be out for field testing this Fall. New Jersey, through its one-stop system, will be one of the states participating in the field testing of the assessment tools. New Jersey has also implemented state-level policies tying the expenditure of training dollars for work readiness skills directly to the EFF standards.

Simultaneous with the field testing of the assessment tools, NIFL has been given the authority to move forward with the development of the actual credential. NIFL has developed a proposal to share with prospective partners and would welcome the participation of New York State in this partnership. Initial prospective partners include Pennsylvania, Texas, the National Retail Federation and the National Association of Manufacturers. Partnerships must include the state workforce agency, education agency, and State Workforce Board. Pennsylvania and Texas are currently seeking the support of the required partners.

The timeline proposed is as follows:

  1. Statement of work with proposed costs will be completed by the end of June. It will be shared with prospective partners who will then opt in or out.
  2. July through the Fall of 2002 the partnership will develop the benchmark levels for a credential/certificate. Partners will review and comment.
  3. Employer validation and prioritization of the benchmarks will commence at the state and local level through the Fall 2002 and Winter 2002-03.
  4. Winter through Spring 2003 the product will be finalized for an anticipated Fall 2003 field testing of the credential.
  5. Final rollout of the credential is anticipated in Fall 2004.

NIFL stressed that the key for a successful certificate will be active business participation and the role of the State Board in this process will be engaging the appropriate business partners in the validation process. That validation will not be governmental agency or NIFL driven.

The committee co-chairs ask that the Board approve moving forward with this process. They have secured the support of the two state agencies (DOL and SED) and will commence working with the various business organizations around New York State to identify businesses willing to work in the validation of the credential. Staff from both agencies and subcommittee members will be involved throughout the entire process. Additionally, the Incumbent Worker Subcommittee will be seeking the active participation of members from the Transitional Worker Subcommittee.