Mayand June are the months when many recent graduates look for work, especially thatfirst full-time job.

I’veread that some employers are giving multiple skills tests for recent college graduates.Potential employers are more skeptical of degrees and grade-point averages thatmay not reflect actual knowledge. (I’ve also talked to employers that have haddifficulty getting people who can pass a drug test, but that’s another issue.)

Employersmay want to offer tests for knowledge, personality and skills related to theposition, based on their own company’s needs or by using an industry standard.The Woodwork Career Alliance (www.woodworkcareer.org)is helping both employees and employers to establish and record skills.

Inwoodworking, the number of secondary programs has been in decline in recentyears as high schools shut down vocational programs. There are still many finecollege-level and high school programs, but the future may include alternativessuch as online learning and even apprenticeship programs, common in Europe butnot widespread in North America.

Onething is sure. Companies that want good quality employees are getting involvedin the process, by partnering with local high schools, community colleges andtechnical schools. They are investing time and money into employee development.

And they are testing potential employees todetermine if they would be a good fit, possibly in several ways. They’re notwaiting for graduation day.

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