Resolution in Support of Workplace Readiness Skills Passes Unanimously

-- Del. Peace sponsored bill to highlight Career and Technical Education Programs--

Central Virginia – Passing the House unanimously, House Resolution 101 is a measure which requests the Board of Education approve the revised Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills and test.  Introduced by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville), this resolution emerged from the Commission on Youth’s Study of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Virginia and was unanimously adopted by the Commission.  This resolution was requested by the members of Commission on Youth’s Advisory Group for the Study of CTE, comprised of representatives from business and industry, small business owners, community colleges, local government, local school officials, and parents.  The measure is supported by the Virginia Association for CTE, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, and the Alliance for Construction Excellence.

In 2008, to ensure that Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills were up-to-date with today's workplace, the Department of Education began the process of updating the list of workplace readiness skills.  The skills list is being refined and expanded from 13 to 21 skills, and will be fully implemented as part of the CTE curriculum in the fall of 2010.

In order to verify student mastery of Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills, Virginia CTE uses the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) exam.  This exam must be accompanied by one of three Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) tests to measure technological competence.  These exams have been approved by the Board of Education so that students may earn verified credit.

Speaking to the resolution, Delegate Peace asserts, “Training of skilled workers that will become members of our future work force is essential to the continued economic development of our communities.  Career and Technical Education adds to the tapestry of education in Virginia.  Education is more than just K-12 and higher education.  CTE helps students, workers and lifelong learners fulfill their potential through vocational education opportunities.”

In 2009, the Commission on Youth conducted a study of Virginia’s Career and Technical Education programs to gain information on the Commonwealth’s shifting educational needs.  The Commission convened eight Regional Roundtables.  A major finding from these Roundtables was that employers desire entry-level workers who come ready to work.  Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills incorporate those entry level skills most desired by employers including basic reading and writing, a strong work ethic and positive attitude, communications, teamwork and self-presentation.   “Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills bridge the gap so that students possess the crucial skills necessary to be successful in the workplace while meeting the demands and needs of the business community,” stated Amy Atkinson, Executive Director of the Commission on Youth.  

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.