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Archive for category: Workforce Trends

The Hows and Whys of Workplace Assessments

The Hows and Whys of Workplace Assessments

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the assessment industry has been growing by 10 percent for the last several years. The rise in popularity of assessments can be attributed to several factors, not the least of which is summed up in Will Brooks’ recent Association for Talent Development blog post, “Let’s be honest: people love learning about themselves.” Self-awareness as well as a greater understanding of others has the potential to have a significant impact on performance and productivity.

There is another side to the rise in popularity of assessments, though. The plethora of assessment tools to choose from can be overwhelming: behavioral assessments, personality assessments, and cognitive ability assessments. Understanding what each assessment measures and what business need you are trying to address are key to selecting the right tool. That’s where CCWA can help!

CCWA offers an array of assessments including:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®)
  • DiSC Assessment
  • Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
  • Conflict Dynamics Profile
  • StrengthsFinder
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • Team Dimensions Profile (CARE Profile)
  • Career Readiness Certificate (CRC)*

*Did you know that many organizations in the Greater Richmond area use the CRC as part of their hiring process? The CRC measures competencies in the areas of reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information. Call us today if you’re interested in learning more about this assessment tool!

CCWA works closely with clients, listening to your goals, and asking the questions that uncover the real business needs. When we recommend an assessment tool, we also provide an instructor or coach who has an in-depth knowledge of that tool to assist you and your team with interpreting the results and understanding how to use them to improve team performance, develop leadership talent, or enhance individual performance.

In addition to helping our clients understand how to use workplace assessments, we also advise how not to use them. Assessments should not be used as stand-alone indicators of behavior or performance. Instead, they should be used in conjunction with other performance measurements, observations, and maybe even other assessments. As one of our instructors recently said to a class of senior leaders, “Making decisions based solely on an employee’s DiSC profile is like sitting in the cockpit of a 747 and only using the altimeter to fly it.”


If you’re trying to navigate the maze of workplace assessments, choose CCWA as your co-pilot. For more information, please contact:

Joanne Even
Client Solutions Manager
Corporate Training & Consulting
Community College Workforce Alliance
Phone: 804-897-7612
Email: jeven@ccwa.vccs.edu

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians


What is a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 Certification?

The Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification program was developed to meet the growing employment demands of the manufacturing industry. The MT1 program addresses the core industry-wide skills standards required for skilled production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.  The core competency areas certified are: (1) Math and Measurement, (2) Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology, and (3) Quality and Business Acumen.

The purpose of the MT1 certification program is to document individuals’ mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations.  The goals of the MT1 certification program are to:

  • Develop a workforce pipeline capable of meeting the requirements of existing and emerging employers in advanced technology industries such as manufacturing,
  • Provide a customized fast track pathway to stackable credentials for 21st Century advanced technology careers in industry,
  • Provide online and instructor-led training to address identified technical skill gaps, and
  • Provide a pathway to advanced level training and specialized training based on industry requirements for potential new hires and incumbent workers.

More on MT1

An MT1 operates precision machinery, systems and processes. Typical skills expected in these positions usually include: CAD skills, computer controlled machine programming, precision measurement, process and machine trouble-shooting, problem-solving, machine maintenance and proficient use of diagnostic and statistical tools.  These positions generally describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical “machine operators”. Sample MT1 Job Titles: Operator, Production Operator, Production Technician, Technician, Chemical Equipment Operator, Chemical Operator, Fixers, CNC Technician Manufacturing Technician and Production Manufacturing Specialist. NOTE: To review a full list of production occupations in modern manufacturing requiring MT1 industry-wide technical skills, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Why RVA Needs Certified Manufacturing Technicians

Manufacturing is still alive and well in the Greater Richmond region. Our local economy continues to benefit greatly from this thriving business sector, which has created more ancillary jobs in comparison to others. This is one of the primary reasons national leaders are frantically searching for new ways to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

It is widely known that economies with a strong manufacturing base are more secure in other economic areas. But, the manufacturing industry is only as good as its human capital; and a large skills gap has appeared in the last decade.

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Higher Pay May Not Be the Best Way to Keep Your Workforce Intact and Engaged

Higher Pay May Not Be the Best Way to Keep Your Workforce Intact and Engaged

Employee retention and engagement are on the minds of more than the human resources department these days. The entire C-suite is taking notice as leaders realize the impact of high turnover on the overall financial performance of the organization. Although money is commonly believed to be a strong motivator, “most engagement research shows that learning opportunities, professional development, and career progression are among the top drivers of employee satisfaction.”

Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International, agrees that investing in learning and development to help employees advance their careers can be one of the most effective tools an organization has for increasing both retention and engagement. “Without career development, employees won’t see a place for themselves in the future of the organization—and therefore, they won’t engage with the organization.”

While the importance of learning is rising, organizations’ confidence that they are doing enough in this area is dropping. CCWA works with hundreds of employers every year to:

  • Identify the learning needs that impact business processes
  • Develop solutions that fit a company’s needs and culture, and
  • Deliver training or consulting services that provide a return on investment

CCWA can support the development of technical and professional skills as well as increasingly important soft skills such as communication and emotional intelligence. To learn more about how CCWA can support your employee retention and engagement efforts through learning, contact:

Joyce Lapsley
Client Solutions Manager
Corporate Training & Consulting
Community College Workforce Alliance
Phone: 804-706-5180
Email: jlapsley@ccwa.vccs.edu

Workplace Wisdom: Organizational Recruitment Pipeline

Workplace Wisdom: Organizational Recruitment Pipeline

In today’s market, employers are looking to hire the most qualified candidates, but they are faced with an applicant pool that is often lacking in the necessary skills and experience. The OJT program provides an opportunity for job seekers to bridge the skills gap, while giving employers access to a more qualified applicant pool and funding to offset the costs of training a new employee.


Q: How can On-The-Job Training Support the Organizational Recruitment Pipeline?

A: Gone are the days of only offering internships and cooperative education to entry-level employees. “On-the-Job” training (OJT) programs can assist employers who are looking to expand and who need additional staff trained with specialized skills. Incumbent workers eager to learn new skills and up-skill for promotions can benefit from OJT opportunities.

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Your Most Engaged Employees Are Outnumbered

Your Most Engaged Employees Are Outnumbered

You may have heard the statistic that over half of the working U.S. population is not engaged at work. You probably know who those unengaged workers are in your company. Do you know what to do about them?

The percent of engaged employees rose from 2013 to 2014 (see chart below) to its highest level since 2000 when Gallup first began measuring employee engagement. However, 31.5 percent is less than one third of your employees who are passionate about their work and committed to your company’s mission and purpose.

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Administrative Professionals as Leaders

Administrative Professionals as Leaders

In today’s workplace, managers expect admins to possess many skills beyond computer savvy, a knack for organization, and good teamwork.  Among those skills are sound leadership abilities.  You might ask, “What do I need to do to be considered a leader?” Read More