Kentucky Adopts WIN Learning Essential Soft Skills Assessment as Stackable Credential to Promote Workplace Success

Kingston, TN (May 2017) – Kentucky job seekers will be better equipped with essential employability skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and communicating effectively, by earning the Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate (KESC). Kentucky Adult Education and Kentucky Career Centers (Department of Workforce Investment) adopted the WIN Learning Essential Soft Skills Assessment to provide the KESC credential as the first rung in a career ladder of stackable credentials.

To continue to strengthen its workforce, Kentucky sought a valid and reliable proctored assessment with a focus on the essential soft skills that play a vital role in workplace success and ensure a job-seeker will not only get a job but will stay gainfully employed. Employers benefit from having employees earn a soft skills credential in important ways, such as in reducing turnover, improving productivity, and maximizing on-the-job training. With nearly 24,000 students enrolled in Kentucky Adult Education and more than 125,000 served by Kentucky Career Centers on a yearly basis, the impact is significant. The WIN Learning Essential Soft Skills Assessment was developed based on the national Equipped for the Future (EFF) applied learning standards and the U.S. Department of Labor’s work on SCANS and O*NET®. The assessment questions present situations that the learner might encounter at work and possible actions that could be used to deal with the situation, requiring the learner to select the best and worst option for that particular scenario.

As reported in the Kentucky Chamber’s July 2015 publication, Kentucky’s Workforce Challenges: The Employer’s Perspective, one of the greatest challenges facing employers is “the need for improved employability skills, or soft skills, such as attendance, communication and teamwork, among job seekers.” The Kentucky Essential Skills Certificate (KESC) targets this challenge and seeks to further empower job-seekers across the state.

About WIN Learning

Since 1996, WIN’s integrated approach to career and college readiness has given more than 10 million learners worldwide the tools, confidence and skills necessary to excel in school and in life. Learners have participated in the specialized career-driven courseware and education intervention initiatives as well as career-readiness certification programs. WIN's Career Readiness System provides online courseware for career exploration, planning and guidance within the 16 National Career Clusters, and the foundational academic and the employability social skills to be career and college ready.

About Kentucky Adult Education

Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE) is a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education providing free adult education services in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties. KYAE provides academic instruction aligned to college- and career-readiness standards as well as preparation and coaching for next steps to individuals without a high school diploma, individuals with a diploma with emergent needs, English language learners, individuals participating in integrated education, and training and individuals in corrections facilities. KYAE’s mission is to prepare adult students to succeed in a global culture and economy by delivering a world-class education.

About Kentucky Career Centers (Department of Workforce Investment)

The Department of Workforce Investment is a link to employment services, workforce information, education and training for job seekers, employers, youth and people with disabilities. Its agencies, the Office of Employment and Training (OET), the Office for the Blind (OFB) and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), along with the local workforce investment boards, work together as the Kentucky Career Center (KCC). Under the KCC brand, each agency works together to provide seamless unified services to customers statewide.

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Contacts for the Media:

Steve Fain, Executive Vice President

Sales and Professional Services

WIN Learning, Inc.