New York Department of Labor Selects Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Adult Education Group's WorkSkills Curriculum Series to Advance New Youth Works Program

BOSTON -- Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's (HMH) Steck-Vaughn Adult Education Group today announced that the New York Department of Labor has again selected its WorkSkills curriculum series, as well as the National Work Readiness Council's National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) — distributed in partnership with Steck-Vaughn — to help launch the careers of youth in seven major urban areas. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's New York Youth Works Program, which facilitates the entry-level employment of disadvantaged, work-ready youth aged 16 –24, provides up to eight weeks of work-readiness training as measured by the NWRC. The NWRC is the first nationally recognized, portable certification of entry-level work readiness, designed using the Equipped for the Future Framework (EFF) and a cross-disciplinary business consensus on what defines entry-level readiness skills. 

Organizations who participate in the New York Youth Works Program are encouraged to use HMH Steck-Vaughn WorkSkills™ curriculum to prepare candidates for the NWRC assessment. WorkSkills covers the eight core skills identified by the National Work Readiness Council as necessary for entry-level employment in the areas of workplace reading, workplace math, situational judgment, and active listening. 

"We are thrilled to continue to support this important initiative to employ capable, disadvantaged youth across New York state," said Dan Griffith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Steck-Vaughn Adult Education, HMH. "The NWRC and WorkSkills curriculum do more than assess individuals' ability to make good decisions on the job — they open doors and empower individuals to launch careers with significant growth potential." 

The New York Department of Labor initially partnered with HMH Steck-Vaughn for last year's New York Summer Jobs Express, which encouraged business leaders to hire youths aged 14–21 for summer employment in high-need areas of the state. The success of last year's program is what led the DOL to incorporate the NWRC and the WorkSkills curriculum into this year's revised program. 

"The NWRC is more than just a very good idea—it pushes people to think about and evaluate themselves and the world that they will work in on a daily basis," said Michael Henderson, Coordinator of Workforce Development at Schenectady County Community College (SCCC). Schenectady is one of the counties included in the New York Youth Works Program. "It empowers people to take the next step towards growth, achievement, and employment." 

Over the last two years, Schenectady has helped 400 individuals earn the NWRC by utilizing the WorkSkills curriculum. SCCC uses the curriculum because it provides a real-world learning context, as well as insight into how to utilize the curriculum's assessment tools and reports for targeted studying. Most important, WorkSkills helps both instructors and candidates identify key strengths and weaknesses early on in the preparation process. 

"The NWRC and WorkSkills provide an opportunity to say that we have worked with an individual, and we are able to offer an individual assessment and a recommendation, and a nationally recognized credential to a potential employer," said Henderson. "When I consider the value of the WorkSkills curriculum, the sum of the whole is greater than its parts—it's truly like following a detailed map to reach the treasure, and that treasure is career success." 

"The NWRC and WorkSkills strongly support people’s ideas, their dreams, their uniqueness, and their future," continued Henderson. "They give participants a chance to acquire a nationally recognized credential that brings them one step closer to one of their goals, employment. We have seen that the course gives people the chance to challenge themselves, to change and grow." 

To learn more about HMH Steck-Vaughn's National Work Readiness Credential and WorkSkills curriculum, visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company with the mission of changing lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 60 million students in 120 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit