Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210






March 9, 2001




March 31, 2002











Office of Workforce Security




New O*NET Career Exploration Tools™


  1. Purpose. To inform State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs) that the U.S. Employment Service/America's Labor Market Information System (USES/ALMIS) within the Office of Workforce Security will be supplying States with starter kits and an initial supply of three new Occupational Information Network (O*NET) career exploration tools. These tools are intended for use within local One-Stop Centers to enhance the range of services available to job seekers. This initial supply will introduce these tools to State and local One-Stop Centers through SESAs.

  2. Background. On January 2, 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the release of three new O*NET career exploration tools. These new tools are designed as a set of self-directed assessment and career exploration tools to help workers consider and plan career options, preparation, and transitions more effectively. Beginning in early 2001, the tools will be available from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and through private sources who incorporate them into their various career-guidance products.

    The set of O*NET tools includes an Interest Profiler, a Work Importance Locator, and an Ability Profiler. The tools help individuals identify their work-related interests, what they consider important on the job, and their abilities, and thus assist them in exploring the occupations that relate most closely to those attributes. Users of the tools may link directly to the more than 900 occupations described by the O*NET database, as well as to the occupational information in America's Career Kit. This will help users to match their interests and abilities to job skills and requirements of occupations in their local labor market.

    By using these tools, career counselors and facilitators at One-Stop Centers and other service providers may broaden options and help find alternative occupations for dislocated workers, unemployment insurance claimants, profiling and other adults and youth. The assessment tools strengths are and areas where they might need more education and training to achieve their career goals. However, the tools are not designed for, and may not be used as, selection instruments; in other words, they are not to be used to select a job candidate based on the score results.

    The O*NET career exploration tools were developed adhering to the highest quality standards of the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. The instruments were developed and tested with populations that varied in terms of race, age, gender, ethnic background, geographic location, educational background, and economic background. The tools have been pilot tested in many different education, employment and training settings, including Employment Service offices, Job Corps programs, inner city/rural/suburban schools, veterans groups, community colleges, and universities. Developing the O*NET assessment tools was a multi-year project led by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), working in partnership with the SESAs, public and private consulting firms, workforce development organizations and the public.

  3. A Brief Description of the Career Exploration Tools.

    All of these instruments are designed for use by both youth and adults.

    These new tools can be an important part of the integrated services provided through One-Stop Centers and self-help resources under the Workforce Investment Act. These tools, along with the O*NET common language and database of information, can form the basis of a common framework between and among partners for providing career services within One-Stop Centers.

    All of these tools are trademarked and copyrighted by the U.S. Department of Labor. See attached "Special Notice: User's Agreement" for further information on using these tools.

  4. Complimentary Supply of Career Exploration Tools for One-Stop Centers. 

  5. Tool Availability and Distribution Plans. All of the tools including the automated versions will be available from the GPO. Paper/pencil versions of the Interest Profiler and Work Importance Locator will be available for sale from GPO early in 2001. Computerized versions will be available on CD-ROM in the spring of 2001. The Ability Profiler will be available in the spring of 2001.

    Each assessment instrument is supported by companion materials, including a score report, master list of occupations, user guide, and development report, that includes validity/reliability information.

    Score reports and user guides will be available as sale items from GPO or can be downloaded for free in .PDF (printable) files via the Internet at the National O*NET Consortium website. Documentation and supplementary reports also will be posted as .PDF files and can be downloaded without charge.

    ETA plans to make a full and open release of these tools to the marketplace. This includes making camera-ready print files of all of these tool components available for reprint. All of these components, with the exception of the assessment instruments themselves, will be available for download via the Internet as .PDF files. These files can be printed out from a personal computer. Because of their specialized design, shape, and color, the assessment instruments need to be printed professionally. They cannot be printed in usable form from a personal computer. Files for professional printing of the instruments will be made available through GPO after the first GPO printing.

    Further information about the ordering process will be available shortly in a Training and Employment Information Notice (TEIN) which will be posted on the ETA website at www.doleta.gov.

  6. Technical Assistance. Because proper administration of assessment instruments is essential to obtaining valid or meaningful test scores, ETA, in partnership with the O*NET National Consortium and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, is developing training and technical assistance to explain the proper use and administration of these new tools. Two of the tools are self-administered and contain directions for using the assessments and interpreting the results. The score report explains the scores and offers a range of occupations to explore.

    The Ability Profiler instrument must be administered by One-Stop staff. However, scoring of the Ability Profiler is computerized and information for understanding and using the results are contained within the score report in the same way that the scores are explained in the Interest Profiler and Work Importance Locator.

    Training will be provided on administering the tools, understanding score reports and assisting applicants to use the information and plan next steps toward career and job preparation. Information about training will be distributed in the near future and also posted on several web pages including: www.doleta.gov, www.onetcenter.org, or www.naswa.org.

  7. Action Required. SESAs are requested to develop and implement a State distribution strategy for sharing the three assessment tools through the State's One-Stop Centers. Further, SESAs are encouraged to work with their State and local workforce development boards to develop long term strategies for utilizing these tools within One-Stop Centers for the benefit of the customers of the system. Additional information about O*NET and O*NET career exploration tools will be available at www.doleta.gov/programs/onet and on the National O*NET Consortium website at www.onetcenter.org.

  8. Inquiries. Questions should be directed to Donna Dye at 202-693-2805 or ddye@doleta.gov.

    Attachment: Special Notice: User's Agreement for the Career Exploration Tools