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Wisconsin State Council SHRM Developing Professionals - Serving the HR Profession

Workforce Readiness - News & Articles
SHRM Chapters' Workforce Readiness Directors and Chapter Members Increase in Organizations
Congratulations to our SHRM chapters' Workforce Readiness Directors and chapter members for a 26% increase in organizations utilizing WisCareers!  Over 200 Wisconsin organizations are now visible to thousands of Wisconsin middle, high school, and college students for career exploration.  These organizations are also visible to teachers and professors for current and potential business and education partnership opportunities.
WisCareers is a career exploration website hosted by UW Madison that is available to K12 and college students throughout Wisconsin.  WisCareers links Wisconsin businesses to students and job seekers, and it offers a database of community and business volunteers for counselors and teachers.  If you organization is not yet signed up with WisCareers, I encourage you to do so.  You can learn more about WisCareers, including how to sign up, by viewing a recent webinar on WisCareers at this link:
Another good tool is Career Pathways.  Career Pathways provide a framework for seamless education. They are at the core of workforce and economic development in our state. Wisconsin Career Pathways are modeled after 16 national career clusters developed by the States' Career Clusters Initiative (SCCI). They have also developed a 17th option called Liberal Arts and Sciences. The addition of that option provides a complete picture of the diverse types of education provided by Wisconsin's higher education sectors.  Their link is:
We also encourage key partnerships with your local Department of Workforce Development group, your local school superintendents, principals, and college deans, and your local Chamber of Commerce "Partners in Education" group.  If you have not yet introduced yourself to these local contacts in your area, please consider doing so.  They are great networking partners for HR professionals wanting to encourage links between your organizations current and future workforce needs, and your community partners.
Posted 07/11/2011
An Update on Wisconsin’s National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
Since the start of the NCRC program in the fall of 2009, Wisconsin Job Service has certified over 1,700 job applicants throughout the state, with more signing up for the assessments daily! Recently, Governor Walker has endorsed the NCRC by having his signature on every certificate.
As mentioned in a previous article posted on the SHRM Workforce Readiness website, Wisconsin Job Service implemented the NCRC program with the help of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. Our initial goal was to help Wisconsin citizens that were collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) prove they had the foundational work readiness skills that employers need, at no cost to the job seeker. In September 2010, Wisconsin Job Service expanded this no cost service to all Wisconsin Job Seekers.
The NCRC is a nationally recognized certificate that documents foundational workplace skills and helps applicants stand out from the crowd. Because the NCRC is objective, it assures employers that applicants have the skills needed to be successful on the job. The NCRC can be easily incorporated into an employer’s recruitment and hiring process as simply one part of the recruitment process. It helps Wisconsin employers develop and maintain the skilled workers they need.
The NCRC is a distinctive certification of applied skill in three core areas. The certificate is relevant for people with all levels of experience, for jobs at every point on the skill continuum and in nearly any industry. The NCRC documents an individual’s work-related skills in:
  • Applied Mathematics (solving workplace problems using math);
  • Reading for Information (demonstrating how you read and understand workplace documents); and
  • Locating Information (finding information on charts, graphs, etc. in your work).
These three categories are part of a broader set of WorkKeys® Assessments developed by ACT, Inc. to identify and measure workplace skills. ACT has analyzed over 17,000 jobs nationwide and determined that these three skills are highly important to success in a majority of jobs.
In order to encourage more job seekers to earn their NCRC, and to increase the workforce readiness in our state’s workforce, we are looking for employers to support the program. Not only will this help your organization decrease training dollars, increase productivity, and increase your ROI (return on investment), but in the long run it will help entice new businesses to areas that have large pockets of NCRC’s in your communities.
To show your support for the program, we are asking for employers to sign the Letter of Support (, and to prefer an NCRC on job postings. (For a list of companies that have already signed the Letter of Support in Wisconsin please check out this link: With your help, the NCRC, and the efforts made by the Wisconsin Job Service, we can all reap the benefits of a workforce that is in fact work ready.
To find out general information about Wisconsin’s NCRC or WorkKeys®, and how it benefits organizations, explore our website at:
For specific information, please contact your local Job Service Director (see attachment) or contact Kristina Thole, PHR, Employer Outreach Coordinator at 608-267-7214 or
Posted 03/03/2011
CLA Conference Call/Webinar Schedule
Mark Your Calendars:
CLA Conference Call/Webinar Schedule
The 2011 schedule will be available soon at
CLA leaders will receive an email with call-in information for these events.
1/19 - Government Affairs
1/27 - Workforce Readiness Director Orientation [webinar]
2/09 - College Relations
2/10 - Certification [webinar]
2/17 - Diversity [webinar]
3/17 - Workforce Readiness
3/23 - Membership:
      State Council @ 2:00 ET/ 1:00 CT/ 12:00 MT/ 11:00 PT
      Chapter @ 4:00 ET/ 3:00 CT/ 2:00 MT/ 1:00 PT
3/24 - SHRM Foundation [webinar]
3/30 - Certification
Unless otherwise noted, all conference calls begin at 4:00 ET/ 3:00 CT/ 2:00 MT/ 1:00 PT
The call-in number for ALL conference calls is the same Call-in number: (800) 745-6370 Participant code: 747279
Posted 01/25/11
Leadership Basics Webinar Series Now Available!
2010 Leadership Conference PowerPoint presentations and Session Notes The Leadership Basics Webinar Series is still available for review.
This three-part series is a primer for volunteer leaders new to their role or as a refresher for those returning to their current role or taking on a new role within the chapter/state council. Each recorded webinar is one hour. You'll find the link to the recorded webinar and the PowerPoint for download at This location is also "home" to the Leadership Conference PowerPoint presentations and Session Notes. If you missed Leadership Conference or wish to "revisit," this is the page for you!
Posted 01/25/11
WC-Connection: A resource connecting schools and businesses
For HR professionals, the quality of our future workforce will be a key strategy to our success within our organizations. Human Resources can and should be the strategy leader in this important collaborative partnership. The WC-Connection (WIS Careers) is a web-based tool that connects schools & businesses. Learn how students can search for WC-Connection employers, see your company information, access to your business career pages and human resource contacts. See how educators can search businesses for volunteers. Please join us for this free and informative webinar.
Start Time: Friday, January 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: English
Access: Anyone who has the URL for the meeting can enter the room
March 10, 2010
In the midst of challenging economic conditions, Workforce Readiness has never been more important than it is today! Your local chapter Workforce Readiness Directors, along with myself, are excited to work with our SHRM chapter colleagues to continue to further define and enhance this competitive advantage within our local organizations, schools, and communities. Workforce Readiness can be very expansive, reaching into our local schools and universities, but also inclusive of our current workforce and our adult community residents. Each chapter will define and focus in on specific Workforce Readiness goals that are most meaningful to each location.
I encourage you to learn more about Workforce Readiness! SHRM offers us a Workforce Readiness webcast archive with some very helpful guidance on developing workforce readiness initiatives. It can be viewed at this link:
In addition, here are the state-wide Workforce Readiness goals we have established for the coming year, and are actively working on:
  1. Create a stronger partnership with Dept of Workforce Development/School to Work
  2. Consider hosting an event on assistance during unemployment
  3. Partner with other groups/schools to help move forward the understanding and the work
  4. Connect local SHRM chapters to Chamber-sponsored Partners In Education (PIE) groups
  5. Connect local SHRM chapters to WisCareers and register on the WisCareers student/education/business connection website at
  6. Hold a state-wide meeting of invested parties and workforce readiness board members to connect and begin the discussion.
On behalf of all of our state-wide Workforce Readiness local chapter directors, thank you for your commitment to Workforce Readiness! I encourage open discussion and dialogue within all chapters on this very important topic to all HR professionals. If you have questions regarding this topic, you may contact Margie Harvey, Wisconsin State SHRM Workforce Readiness Director.
National Career Readiness Certificate Information
Download Documents:
Middle Skills Gap
Careers Conference 2010 Highlights Strategies for Career Counselors & Educators in a Struggling Economy
The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training

State Workforce Readiness Initiatives

Workforce Readiness issues abound in our state in the current economy and the opportunities for education in this area are significant for anyone willing to take action. I recently had the pleasure of discussing this matter with Paul Sandrock, the Assistant Team Director of Content and Learning for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Assuming that I was going to talk with Paul about the New Wisconsin Promise and nothing more was ignorant to say the least. I didn’t even scratch the surface of all of the various initiatives and task forces that are underway in the badger state.
The focal point is the New Wisconsin Promise. This program is aimed at providing the educational building blocks for our K-12 students in the state that will be required in our businesses and industries for years to come. No one needs to remind HR professionals about the impending crisis facing industry (manufacturing and service-based) as regards the skills inventory of our workforce. As Baby Boomers retire, Generations X and Y need to fill their shoes…will they be able to do this?
The New Wisconsin Promise focuses on six main educational themes:
  • Ensuring quality teachers in the classroom
  • Improving student achievement with an emphasis on reading levels at or above grade level
  • Investing in early learning environments such as four-year-old kindergarten and preschool
  • Increasing parental and community involvement in classrooms
  • Advancing career and technical education to engage additional students
  • Providing effective pupil services to reduce the barriers to success currently found in the system
The direct tie to our business community is through Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI). CWI is an association of representatives from business, academia, labor, and government entities with a core mission of promoting public policy in the area of creating high paying jobs within the state. The need for a highly-educated workforce with the appropriately aligned skills is a critical development in this organization’s goals.
Closing the achievement gap is a priority in the DPI and the task forces formed are formidable. If our future is devoid of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, it will not be for lack of effort. Visit for further information on a grass-roots approach to developing a clearing-house for all information related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math with regards to education, employment, and career activities in the state.
According to the Wisconsin Next Generation Manufacturing Survey – a project of WMEP – one of the targeted success attributes for successful companies in the next decades will be a focus on Customer-Focused Innovation. Where will this innovation come from? An excellent resource may be the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education. Yes, this is about music and art in our schools, but the intellectual activity that is creativity is also a focus. You can find some very thought provoking information at From here, you can also investigate the efforts being made in entrepreneurial literacy. How do we teach our young students about risk taking, ambiguity in life and commerce, the attitudes that are pioneering in industry, etc.? These are all critical elements in the 21st Century economy.
And finally, you can be a part of this process in the Designing High Schools for Success (found at This component of the New Wisconsin Promise is looking for advocacy assistance from the business community. Our employers are a major stakeholder in these efforts and our HR community can accept a greater amount of responsibility in this development of our future.
Workforce Readiness is not a topic of discussion reserved for state conferences and quarterly meetings, but rather is a focal point for daily and weekly action right in your communities and schools. These resources are but a fraction of those that are out there asking for our energy and input. Your involvement can and will make a dramatic impact on our state for generations to come.
Additional Information
Contact Information
Helen Englebert

Helen Englebert, SPHR

WI State Council Workforce Readiness Director
Moraine Park Technical College
235 N. National Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Phone: (920) 739-0940


Helen is in her first year as State Workforce Readiness Director for the Wisconsin Council-Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), having just completed her second term as the State Leadership Director. Under her past leadership as State Director for WI SHRM, the Council received the Superior Honor Merit award in 2001 and 2002. Helen has been involved with many SHRM conferences throughout the state, and co-chaired in Appleton in 2000. Helen also served on the national SHRM Central Region Board of Directors, and chaired the Central Region SHRM Foundation scholarship committee. Following her year as Chapter President, Helen was awarded the Career Achievement Award for her contributions to the Green Bay Area Chapter-SHRM in 2009.

As part of the Economic and Workforce Development area of Moraine Park Technical College, Helen Englebert partners with organizations to identify their needs and to provide performance-minded solutions to support their business strategies. She is a certified trainer for MSCEIT Emotional Intelligence and Achieve Global Leadership and Customer Service. Helen serves on the NEW North Educational Attainment Committee, and is involved with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance and South Central Chapter of ASTD.

More Information

© 2008 Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Council
2830 Agriculture Dr. Madison, WI 53718         Phone: 608.204.9827