Area High Schools Nearly Double Number of Testers in Third Year of WorkKeys Initiative



GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Mississippi – During the 2016-17 school year, a total of 505 students took the WorkKeys assessment, with 344 scoring silver or higher and earning a National Career Readiness Certificate.


Lowndes County School District dramatically increased the number of students tested this year by supplementing the grant and provided the assessment to every eligible senior in their district.  


For the first year since beginning the grant program to provide the WorkKeys assessment to area seniors, all public high schools in the Golden Triangle participated.


“We have many goals to celebrate this year in our pursuit to implement more opportunities for students along our workforce pipeline in the Golden Triangle,” said Macaulay Whitaker, VP for Internal and External Affairs and workforce development coordinator for the GTR LINK. “All of our partners are invaluable and the educators who have made this possible should be commended.”


This year, students taking the assessment averaged 68% silver or higher scores.


“EMCC is excited to work with the GT Development Link and area high schools to deliver the ACT WorkKeys Test to our high school seniors,” said Carey Butler, Director of Workforce Services at East Mississippi Community College. “This assessment is a nationally recognized credential that is vital for economic develop. Each year we offer this assessment to our students moves us closer to becoming a Work Ready Community.”


The GTR Early Workforce Initiative (EWI) is part of an effort headed by the GTR LINK to further workforce development efforts in the region.


The WorkKeys effort was provided to students through a subsidization from the Golden Triangle Development LINK Trust and contributions by East Mississippi Community College. Each high school was offered up to $5,000 to subsidize all testing fees for students. EMCC provided staff, training materials, on-site and in-hours testing as well as support for teachers and counselors guiding students through the process.


As defined by ACT WorkKeys, the test is a job skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. This test is commonly used in the Golden Triangle by employers to measure trainability, among other skill sets. Test takers that achieve a Silver or higher score on the test earn ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate.


For more information about the GTR Early Workforce Initiative, contact Macaulay Whitaker at or call 662.328.8369.


For more information about WorkKeys testing contact the EMCC Workforce Services Team at 662-243-2686.  

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