Training in assessments is a step toward developing a one-source workforce resource, said Rick Creasy, CSCC director of workforce development.
Industries have related a growing need for employees with higher-level skills and education. Cleveland State is attempting to meet this demand through its workforce program, OneSource. Assessments determine the skill level of potential hires while highlighting training gaps in current employees.
“This hands-on, scientific-based, data-driven program simplifies the hiring process,” Creasy said in a letter to local industries. “The solution lowers the risk and cost of hiring and aligns the hiring process with” proven standards.
“With the hands-on assessment machines you know the skill set and skill level of candidates prior to hire. Many organizations assess their incumbent workforce and deliver targeted training programs based on the data,” Creasy said.
According to Creasy, many assessments for hands-on jobs are given via paper and pencil. He said assessment machines more accurately determine a person’s abilities. Problems are addressed in the same way with the machines as they would be on the job.
Cleveland’s staff is being trained to administer SMTs mechanical, electrical and programmable logistic control assessments.
“They have to certify us to use the machines because they stand behind the scientific validity of [the assessments’] results and product,” Creasy said. “[An SMT trainer] must verify you are competent in administering the assessment.”
Creasy sent out a letter to local industries as a plea for employees to assess. Each of the eight faculty members needed eight people to train for a total of 64 volunteers. Assessments began Monday, Feb. 18, and will continue through Saturday, Feb. 23.
“The benefits will be twofold,” Creasy said in his letter. “Cleveland State will have a staff of properly trained and certified assessment administrators, and you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how our new capabilities will help improve performance in your facility.”
A majority of the volunteers are local employees from Mars, Whirlpool, and Cormetech. Human resource representatives from Resolute and Cormetech have observed the assessment program.
Creasy said Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Morelock also stopped by for a visit.
Allan Gentry, CSCC technology department chair, said the training has gone well.
“We are learning how to take people who are either existing workers or potential workers and gage their mechanical aptitude by placing them through a series of tests,” Gentry said.
Each assessment follows the same pattern. Test-takers are introduced to the machine. They are given time to interact with the properly functioning machine. A trainer then places faults throughout the machine’s system. Test-takers are given a time limit to identify and solve each fault.
Creasy said this is all a part of the development of OneSource.
“The vendor came to demonstrate the machines, we purchased the machines and now we are being trained on the machines,” Creasy said. “The next step would be partnering with an employer to identify qualified employees.”
Continued Creasy, “We are following through with our commitments to partner with employers to develop a workforce readiness training and assessment center. This is another step in the process.”