|Updated: 2/06/2012 9:43 pm
||Published: 2/06/2012 5:52 pm
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - One piece of paper could unlock the door to thousands of job opportunities in Arkansas. If you don't have it, thousands of employers in the state won't even let you fill out an application.
At L'Oreal in North Little Rock, the turnover rate dropped dramatically after requiring employees to have the Career Readiness Certificate.
If you buy L'Oreal makeup for your eyes and face, chances are it's made right in North Little Rock. It's the company's largest North American facility.
As L'Oreal's Director of Human Resources, Cedric Martin screens all job seekers who apply to work at L'Oreal in North Little Rock.
"It's a very high-paced environment where you'll get a specification on a sheet of paper and you have to be able to find that information very quickly," says Martin.
In 2009, L'Oreal became one of more than 75-hundred Arkansas employers requiring the CRC. Everyone working on the line right now has their CRC, even if they started working for L'Oreal before 2009.
The state-sponsored assessment is free to employers and jobseekers. Instead of evaluating your education level, it tests your workplace skills in reading and math, and how well you follow instructions. It lets employers like L'Oreal know you are qualified.
"It reduces their overtime, their turnover, their training dollars because they know when somebody comes in with a CRC, they can read, they can do math," says Kimberly Friedman with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.
You take the first part of the CRC online and the second at any Arkansas Workforce Center or Adult Education Center.
Martin says the CRC has really helped L'Oreal's bottom line.
"It's been a dramatic improvement over the past few years in terms of our operational efficiency, our level of safety, just overall engagement of employees," says Martin.
Right now, L'Oreal does not have any job openings. If positions do open up, keep in mind that starting pay is 17-dollars an hour.
Other employers requiring the CRC include Harps Food Stores, Family Dollar, Cardinal Health and Welspun.