What assessments are being used to Determine if Adults are Ready for the Workforce?

September is National Workforce Development Month and we kicked off this month with a live discussion about different formal and informal assessments that are being used across the United States to help determine if adults are workforce ready. 

This discussion will provide a summary of what was shared in the live event and people are encouraged to add comments and continue to discuss new assessments that are being used within local workforce area.

Here is a list of the assessments we discussed (during the live event) that are being used around the United States:


WorkKeys® (Explore more on LINCS)

O*NET Ability Profiler and O*NET Interest Profiler

BESI (Barriers to Employment Success Inventory)

NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment (Explore more on LINCS)

Questions to consider when choosing and using assessments with adult learners:

  • How can you be sure certain informal assessments won’t exclude certain populations from accessing opportunities to enter the workforce?
  • In what ways have formal or informal assessments been successful in indicating if the learner will be successful in staying in the workforce and/or progressing in the workforce?
  • How have local employers have been involved in assessment discussions in your local areas?

Additional reading suggestions:

Learn more about diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments.

Learn more about rubrics

Follow the LINCS assessment group



In Pennsylvania, our local one-stops just started offering free access to Metrix Learning. I would like to hear how other states have used Metrix Learning with adult learners and how adult education providers connected learners to the opportunity or how they supported learners with completing Metrix courses. 

Prior to this initiative, some adult education providers in PA had worked with other workforce development system partners to support WorkKeys and NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessments. However, we haven't seen a large number of employers embrace these assessments and credentials. 

Which assessments, certificates, and credentials are employers in your local area embracing and supporting?