As Newton seeks to become a full-fledged Skilled Iowa Community, both Newton Development Corporation and Newton Chamber of Commerce Executive Directors Frank Liebl and Darrell Sarmento respectively, noted that getting the local schools involved would be key in a recent meeting.
Basics & Beyond Alternative School teacher Charlet Daft was one step ahead of them. On April 23 she and five seniors from Basics went to the Iowa Workforce Development Center in Des Moines and took the National Career Readiness Certificate test.
“Seeing in the Newton Daily News how they were pushing the testing and these kids could use all the advantages they can get,” Daft said on why they took the NCRC test. “It’s something else to add to their diploma that is unique from other high school students.”
Reid Wadzinski, Kylar Schwabe, Jerney Shores, Josh Runnels, Stephanie Petted along with Daft took the test. Daft received a gold certification, Shores received silver and the other students just have the math portion remaining to become certified. The certificates come in bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels.
Shores said that she took the test because Daft asked her and did not expect to receive the score she got.
“I was expecting at least a score,” Shores said. “I had no idea what the test was about or anything.”
The NCRC test is free to take and according to Skilled Iowa it can boost your resume, boost your chances of getting a job sooner and help you find your dream job. They also state that becoming a certified Skilled Iowa Community can attract more business to the area.
“It’s not that hard,” Shores said. “You go in, you take one and they give you a little break in between each one. There are only three tests for it and you get about 45 minutes each and a 10 minute break in between them.”
The three sections of the test are applied mathematics, reading comprehension and locating information, in which you use materials from graphs, charts, diagrams, tables, maps and other visual tools to answer the questions.
“These guys hadn’t had a lot of experience with reading maps and graphs and I wasn’t sure how well they would do, but they did pretty well,” Daft said.
“You don’t have to take them all in one day either,” Shores said. “You can take one and leave and come back and take another one.”
Shores, who is set to graduate from Basics on Friday, said she is very supportive of the NCRC test.
“There is no harm in taking it,” Shores said. “You can always come back and take it and if you didn’t score well in one portion of it, you don’t have to come back and take it all over again. You can always just redo that part.”
Also like Shores, Daft said she was surprised at how simple the test was.
Daft is also a very staunch supporter of the NCRC test and would like to become certified as a proctor for the test. Liebl and Sarmento had also suggested that more local proctors would be a good idea for the community in their meeting.
“I think it will help the community, maybe attract some more businesses,” Daft said. “In this economy, all the certifications and things you can do to advertise yourself, the better off you are.”
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.