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Summary Are They Really Ready To Work?. Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of the New Entrants to the 21 st Century U.S. Workforce. Two Presentations. Overview of National Study on Workforce Needs (Janet Pilcher)

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SummaryAre They Really Ready To Work?

Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of the New Entrants to the 21st Century

U.S. Workforce


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Two Presentations

  • Overview of National Study on Workforce Needs (Janet Pilcher)

  • Overview of Region Workforce and Education Statistics (Rick Harper)


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Are They Really Ready to Work - Research Study

  • Partners – page 4

  • States That Have Adopted the New Model Developed From the Study

    • North Carolina

    • West Virginia

    • Wisconsin

    • Maine

    • South Dakota

    • Massachusetts


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Members of the 21st Century Partnership

  • Website

    • http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/


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About the Survey

  • Partnership collected data by using a survey

  • Respondents

    • 431 employers in the U.S.

    • Titles of the respondents ranged from Senior Vice President, Vice President, Director, Manager, Human Resource Specialist

    • Manufacturing (22.8%)

    • Professional and business services (13.9%)

    • Financial and insurance companies (13.6%)

    • Healthcare (12.2%)

    • Entertainment and trade (10.1%)


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About the Survey

  • Respondents (cont.)

    • 21% from companies larger than 5000

    • 39.5% from companies 500 to 5000

    • 39.5% from fewer than 500

  • Respondents

    • 28.9% from companies with $1 billion or more in revenues

    • 26.9% from companies with more than $100 million but less than $1 billion in revenues

    • 44.2% from companies with less than $100 million in revenues


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Survey On 20 Skills

  • Basic Knowledge/Skills

    • English Language (spoken)

    • Reading

    • Writing in English

    • Mathematics

    • Science

    • Government/Economics

    • Humanities/Arts

    • Foreign Languages

    • History/Geography


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20 Skills

  • Applied Skills

    • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

    • Oral Communications

    • Written Communications

    • Teamwork/Collaboration

    • Diversity

    • Information Technology Application

    • Leadership


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20 Skills

  • Applied Skills (cont.)

    • Creativity/Innovation

    • Lifelong Learning/Self Direction

    • Professionalism/Work Ethic

    • Ethics/Social Responsibility


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Survey Questions

  • Asked

    • Rate the importance of 20 areas of basic knowledge and applied skills to the job success of new entrants to their U.S. workforces at three educational levels – high school, community college, university. They responded using one of the three categories

      • Very important

      • Important

      • Not important


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Survey Questions

  • Also asked

    • Rate the readiness of each of these three groups of new entrants on each of the 20 skills. Three choices

      • Excellent

      • Adequate

      • Deficient

  • Also asked

    • Rate the “increase” or “decrease” in importance of these 20 skills over the next five years

  • Also asked

    • Identify the emerging content areas in next five years


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Interpretation and Use of Data

  • Workforce Readiness Report Card

    • A tool for identifying areas of need and of success

    • Can be used to stimulate discussion on what should be the target of our nation’s workforce readiness

    • Assumes a threshold of at least 1 in 5 employer respondents reporting new entrants’ readiness as “excellent” or at “deficient” levels for a skill to appear on the Excellence or Deficiency lists.


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Three Levels of Education

  • Overall Results

    • Page 31, Chart 1


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Results – HS Graduates Entering Workforce

  • High school graduates

    • Overall Preparation

      • 42.4% of respondents rate new entrants with a high school diploma as deficient in their overall preparation for entry level jobs they fill

      • 45.6% of respondents rate new entrants as adequate

      • 0.2% of respondents rate new entrants as excellent


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Results – HS Graduates Entering Workforce

  • High School Graduates

    • Deficient

      • Knowledge/Skills

        • Writing in English (72% rate as deficient/49.4% say “very important” for high school students’ successful job performance)

        • Mathematics (53.5% rate as deficient/30.4% say “very important”

        • Reading Comprehension (38.4% rate as deficient/62.5% say “very important”)

      • Applied Skills

        • Written Communications (80.9% rate as deficient/52.7% say “very important”)

        • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving (69.6%/57.5%)

        • Professionalism/Work Ethic (70.3%/80.3%)


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Results – HS Graduates Entering Workforce

  • High School Graduate

    • Rate adequate on three “very important” skills

      • IT Application (62.8%/53%)

      • Diversity (61.8%/52.1%)

      • Teamwork/Collaboration (60.9%/74.7%)

    • No skills judged excellent


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College Graduates Entering Workforce

  • Two and Four Year College Graduates

    • Overall – Adequate

    • Deficiencies

      • Writing in English

      • Written Communications

    • Deficiency in a very important skill

      • Leadership


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Five Most Important Basic Skills(High School Graduates Entering Workforce)

  • Reading Comprehension

  • English Language

  • Writing in English

  • Mathematics

  • Foreign Languages

    *Two & four year – different ranking and science rather than foreign languages


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Five Most Important Applied Skills(High School Graduates Entering Workforce)

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic

  • Teamwork/Collaboration

  • Oral Communication

  • Ethics/Social Responsibility

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

    * Two & four year – different ranking and written communications and not Ethics/Social Responsibility


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Of the Total 20, Five Most Important Skills (HS Graduates Entering Workforce)

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic

  • Teamwork/Collaboration

  • Oral Communications

  • Ethics/Social Responsibility

  • Reading Comprehension*


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Of the Total 20, Five Most Important Skills (Two year Graduates Entering Workforce)

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic

  • Teamwork/Collaboration

  • Oral Communications

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

  • Reading Comprehension*


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Of the Total 20, Five Most Important Skills (Four Year Graduates Entering Workforce)

  • Oral Communications

  • Teamwork/Collaboration

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic

  • Written Communications

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving


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Future Workforce

  • Asked to indicate how the importance of the basic knowledge and applied skill areas would change over the next five years

  • Also asked to indicate which of the several emerging content areas they believe to be “most critical” for the future of graduates entering the workforce over the next five years


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The Future Emerging

  • Emerging Content Area

    • Making Appropriate Choices Concerning Health and Wellness

    • Exercise personal financial responsibility

    • Use entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity

    • Understand economic issues and the role of business in the U.S. and global economies


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The Future Emerging

  • Emerging Content Areas (cont.)

    • Demonstrate understanding of global markets and the economic cultural effects of globalization

    • Participate effectively in community and government as an informed citizen

    • Use non-English languages as a tool for understanding other nations, markets, and cultures


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Skills Expected to Increase in Importance (From most to least)

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving (77.8%)

  • Information Technology Application (77.4%)

  • Teamwork/Collaboration (74.2%)

  • Creativity/Innovation (73.6%)

  • Diversity (67.1%)

  • Leadership (66.9%)

  • Oral Communications (65.9%)

  • Professionalism/Work Ethic (64.4%)

  • Ethics/Social Responsibility (64%)

  • Written Communications (64%)


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Skills Expected to Increase in Importance (From most to least)

  • Lifelong Learning/Self Direction (64%)

  • Foreign Languages (63.3%)

  • Mathematics (48.8%)

  • Writing in English (45.4%)

  • Reading Comprehension (41%)

  • Science (38.7%)

  • English Language (32.8%)

  • Government/Economics (24.8%)

  • History/Geography (17.9%)

  • Humanities/Arts (9.5%)


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At the Centerpiece of Reports

  • Creativity/Innovation as an important skill

    • The Council on Competiveness writes,

      • “companies that do not embrace innovation as a core business value will fall to global competition…innovation is inherently multidisciplinary in nature…the realms of science, politics, culture, business, health care, and education are becoming increasingly intertwined.”


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Primary Responsibility for Workforce Readiness

  • Survey says

    • K12 schools (75.6%)

    • 4 year colleges (68.4%)

    • Recent entrants (49.7%) - Individual

    • 2 year college (45.2%)

    • Hiring employee (19%)


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Report Made Recommendation

  • Employers need a better understanding of the classroom environment, and academics need a better understanding of the workplace.

  • Need for additional research

    • Roundtable discussions among employers, educators, policymakers, and community members to address workforce readiness