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Posts tagged ‘Workforce Development’

Grading Students on Job Readiness

I was chatting with our board member Mark Milliron yesterday, and he mentioned this  2-year tech college in Missouri that is grading classroom students not only on course content, but also on job readiness.  Mark was saying that potential employers are (not surprisingly) very interested in the job readiness score.

The college is Linn State Technical College.  Their president describes their mission as follows:  “The college’s primary mission is to prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning.”  According to statistics on their website, 95% of LSTC graduates found gainful employment or continued their education within six months of graduation since 1995.  Perhaps lots of other educational institutions are doing this, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

Here is how Linn State describes their approach to grading:

In addition to the academic grades listed on transcripts, a job readiness work ethic score and an attendance percentage are issued for each class completed. This value-added service to students is a result of industry advisory council member input. Job readiness work ethic scores and attendance percentages are not applicable to the following types of classes: online, independent study, special topics, internship, clinical, seminar, self-paced math, dual credit and dual enrollment (located at high schools).

AJA@™LSTC information is recorded on the student transcript as follows:
Academic Grades (GRD) = A, B, C, D, F
Job Readiness Work Ethic (JR) = score of 0.0 – 4.0
Attendance (ATT) = percentage of 1 – 100

One issue we hear about a lot at the Workforce Institute is the challenge of helping people get to the first rung on the career ladder; i.e. an entry level job.  We also hear about the challenges of helping people stay there if they are lacking in basic job readiness skills like showing up on time, being courteous and conscientious, etc.  I don’t know what the criteria are for Linn State’s Job Readiness Work Ethic score, but measuring job readiness sounds like a good first step in the direction of helping students identify issues that might prevent them from taking their first step on the job ladder.

Are any of you seeing or using job readiness criteria to screen candidates for entry level jobs?

I’ll take some flies with that…

I recently attended the Net Promoter Conference in New York City and had the pleasure of hearing Director of Customer Service Tom Graves and CEO Jim Parrish of Carolina Biological Supply talk about how they’ve grown their business by investing in the skills of their frontline workers.  Carolina supplies college and high school science departments with the equipment and organisms they require to equip their laboratories.

Their story is a great case study for organizations seeking to grow the loyalty of their customers through improving the experience delivered by the employees who interact with those customers on a daily basis.  Carolina achieved success by explicitly measuring their customers’ experience, sharing that customer feedback with employees, and providing training to those employees to enable them to better meet their customers’ expectations.  Although many organizations undertake similar customer loyalty programs, the extent to which Carolina has involved their customer service reps in driving improved results is unique.

I recently interviewed Tom Graves in order to share the Carolina story with you.  You can listen to a podcast of our discussion here.

In this discussion, you’ll hear Tom refer to “NPS”.  This stands for Net Promoter Score, a widely used measure of customer loyalty.  You can learn more about NPS here.