How Business Can Improve Workforce Readiness

By Staff Report

Oct. 1, 2009

A recent Conference Board report, “The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce,” shows that nearly half of the 217 employers surveyed provide remedial training to shore up employees’ writing, math and problem-solving deficiencies. The report was co-sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society for Training & Development and Corporate Voices for Working Families.

In addition to defining the problem, the report also offers some solutions, summarized here:

• Be clear about what workforce readiness requires. A combination of basic and applied skills is best.

• Track the cost and quality of training programs, distinguishing between career advancement, job-specific training and workforce readiness training.

• Offer direct training or funding with corporate philanthropic dollars to encourage workforce readiness curricula in K-12, technical schools and colleges.

• Coordinate HR, community relations, corporate communications and corporate philanthropy departments. Establish strategic partnerships with schools and colleges to improve readiness skills.

• Make full use of publicly funded sources for workforce training, encouraging communities and employees to seek out support too.

• Use the organization’s corporate voice to focus public policy discussion on the need to link education with workforce readiness skills.

Workforce Management, September 14, 2009, p. 33Subscribe Now!


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