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Supports adult learners in choosing a career path and becoming career-ready

Overview

Goals: Workforce Connects supports adult learners in choosing a career path and becoming career-ready. The online system includes four components: career analysis, skill assessment, training/instruction, and job search. Workforce Connects aims to help adult learners choose a career path, get the necessary training to be successful at landing a job, learn how to build a résumé, prepare for interviews, and finally to find employment.

Approach: Workforce Connects is a bundle of six courses including three core courses (with 100 lessons) and three additional courses (with 50 lessons) that learners can choose to take in addition to the core. The program includes four components: career analysis, skill assessment, training/instruction, and job search. It provides a set of surveys that help identify career interests and assess skills related to those interests. Then, the system provides skill-based instruction that is targeted at the career path chosen by the user. This instruction can include remediation for basic skills, depending on the learner. Workforce Connects also provides support in building résumés, preparing for interviews, and finding a job.

Implementation: Workforce Connects was designed for independent use or for use by adult education programs, career centers, and in some cases employers.

Pricing: There are two options for purchasing Workforce Connects, seat licenses and site licenses.

Who is Using It: Workforce Connects is used by adult learners at Community Colleges, Community Based Organizations, and Departments of Education and Labor for skills training. The program can also be used to prepare learners for their career readiness certification exams, and by employers for workforce development. 

    Product Brief

    Goals

    Workforce Connects is an online system that supports adult learners in choosing a career path and becoming career-ready. The system includes four components: career analysis, skill assessment, training/instruction, and job search. Workforce Connects aims to help adult learners choose a career path, get the necessary training to be successful at landing a job, learn how to build a résumé, prepare for interviews, and finally to find employment.

    Approach

    Program Overview

    Workforce Connects is a bundle of six courses including three core courses (with 100 lessons) and three additional courses (with 50 lessons) that learners can choose to take in addition to the core. The three core courses are aligned to the ACT WorkKeys assessment. The program includes four components: career analysis, skill assessment, training/instruction, and job search. The system provides a set of surveys that help identify career interests and assess skills related to those interests. Then, the system provides skill-based instruction that is targeted at the career path chosen by the user. This instruction can include remediation for basic skills, depending on the learner. Workforce Connects also provides support in building résumés, preparing for interviews, and finding a job.

    Career Analysis

    Career Analysis is the first step in the Workforce Connects sequence. This step provides multiple surveys to the learner, including interest surveys and self-assessment of skills. The system uses the data collected in the survey to provide a suggested career list that the learner can explore by viewing job profiles, photos of what the job looks like in action, and interviews with people in the field. The system guides the learner towards identifying a career path that fuses their interests with their skills. This step is designed to set up the learner to be able to pursue training in the area(s) necessary to gain employment in their chosen career path. The career analysis step also provides learners with the ability to search for local training/education programs for a specific career path.

    Skill Assessment

    Skill Assessment is the second step in the Workforce Connects sequence. This step helps the learner understand his/her skill level and create a personalized learning plan. The learner takes a series of pre-assessments on the three core skills of the system (Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information). The system provides a visual with progress bars showing the learner’s skill level, and the level needed to get the job they want.

    Workforce Connects provides a personalized learning plan based on the assessment results. “My Pathway” shows the learners progress, and “My Tasks” shows the learner’s to-do list. The learner moves through the curriculum and takes two types of assessments along the way: On Your Own Assessments and Unit Assessments for the three core units. These progress bars will change to reflect the learner’s progress as he/she moves throughout the training and instruction step.

    Training and Instruction

    Training and Instruction is the third step in the Workforce Connects sequence. This step provides instruction after the learner has a learning plan based on his/her career interests and skills. Instruction is provided through three core courses: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. These three core courses are aligned with the WorkKeys assessment from ACT. There are also three additional areas of instruction that learners can choose to engage with: Lessons from Tools for Workplace Success (basic soft skills), Lessons from Writing for Work (writing skills), and Lessons from Applied Computer Basics (computer skills). These additional three courses are self-paced and unleveled. Through the dashboard, a user can view progress, start a new lesson, and see the lesson progression.

    Learners take a placement test at the beginning of each core course so that the system can suggest the appropriate starting place in the curriculum. Each lesson follows the same sequence: introduction to the skill, skill examples, skill practice, and assessment. The lessons are based on workplace situations and require some basic skills knowledge. After completing each lesson, the learner takes an assessment that is contextualized around their specific career of interest. As a learner moves through the curriculum, if they do not have the skills necessary, and score a 70% or lower on the On Your Own Assessment for that lesson, the system suggests remediation lessons. The system refers to the remediation lessons as “Skills Support.”

    Job Search

    Job Search is the fourth step in the Workforce Connects sequence. This step guides learners through the process of finding a job by providing two tools: the Employment Guide and the job search tool. The Employment Guide is an online tool that helps job-seekers find information and tips (such as résumé writing and interviewing tips) on the job search process. The job search tool allows learners to find job openings in their desired career. This tool has filtering options including location, company, job type and title. Additionally, there is a résumé builder tool in the Portfolio that guides learners through creating a résumé.

    Additional Materials and Resources

    McGraw Hill has additional materials and resources that can be used alongside Workforce Connect. There are printed workbooks and teacher editions for the three core areas of instruction: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. There are also 16 Career Companions for popular careers. These Career Companions provide profiles that include salaries, educational and certification requirements, and more.

    Implementation

    Workforce Connects was designed to be used independently but can be used in post-secondary programs with adult learners, or through organizations or the Department of Education to support skills training. It can also be used by companies for workforce development.

    Business Model and Pricing

    There are two options for purchasing Workforce Connects, seat licenses and site licenses.

    Seat Licenses:

    • 12 Month Seat License: $54.09
    • Base and Planner 12 Month Seat License (2012): $70.29

    Site Licenses:

    Who is Using It

    Workforce Connects is used by adult learners at Community Colleges, Community Based Organizations, and Departments of Education and Labor for skills training. The program can also be used to prepare learners for their career readiness certification exams, and by employers for workforce development. 

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    PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES

    Audience

    Adult Learning Adult Learning