Several Maxton-based Campbell’s Soup employees have been fired after allegedly forging test results on popular career readiness assessment, company officials confirmed on Tuesday.
Campbell’s Soup Spokeswoman Carla Burigatto said five workers at the Maxton plant were terminated in July for “falsification of the WorkKeys assessment.”
Burigatto declined to explain exactly how the employees falsified the results. Citing the company’s personnel policy, she also refused to say how long the employees had been when the company at the time of termination.
Produced by ACT, Inc., the WorkKeys assessment is one of the most widely used career readiness tests in the world.
WorkKeys tests are also used to establish scores on the “National Career Readiness Certificate.” According to ACT, Inc. the certificate “is a portable credential that demonstrates achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information, and Reading for Information.”
Administered locally by staff at Richmond Community College, WorkKeys tests are used by a number of local companies to determine job placement, potential and even pay.
“There are several companies that won’t even hire you without the test,” said Scotland County Economic Director, Greg Icard.
While the WorkKeys assessment forgery appears to be limited to just a handful of Campbell’s Soup employees, Icard speculated that a wider scheme could result in a crisis of confidence that would have far-reaching effects.
In addition to Campbell’s Soup, Scotland County-based companies FCC and Service Thread also use the WorkKeys assessment.
“It’s not used by every single local company, but there are some that utilize it exclusively,” Icard said. “It is used to evaluate potential skill level as well as to profile certain employees to determine which jobs they would fit in
“It is becoming more and more important to companies.”
ACT’s website states that the company “is committed to maintaining score integrity and a level playing field for all examinees on any of ACT’s tests.”
The company also maintains a “Test Security Hotline” for reporting cheating or any other test-related impropriety.
ACT, Inc. officials could not be reached for comment by presstime.