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Although U.S. high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, many employees enter the workforce without the skills that are truly needed to succeed. Recent studies show that essential soft skills such as punctuality, organization, and interpersonal communication are just as important as the hard skills, which now are seen as a basic minimum necessary in order to operate in a particular workplace.
In our special edition report, released in hard copy at the 2017 USCCF hosted America Working Forward event, through research, data, and case studies we discuss the complexity of the skills gap and those who are paving the way forward.
For years, there has been a disconnect between what businesses want new employees to know before they show up for work and what the applicant pool actually knows. The TPM initiative puts employers in the driver’s seat of workforce partnerships for demand-driven workforce solutions. And it’s working for states like Houston, Kansas, and Kentucky, with success stories from Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona soon to come.
The global economy has undergone a transformation that has shaped our lives in ways that we are only now starting to understand. This paper calls on businesses, workers, and the government to embrace the good and the bad of our new economy, analyze the challenges we face, and identify the roles and the solutions that will lead to a path forward.
MAGNET, an Ohio MEP that recognized the growing need for high school graduates with STEM skills in order to sustain the manufacturing economy in Ohio, created an employer-led pre-apprenticeship program aligned with the Ohio Department of Education College and Career readiness graduation standards, and partnered with local public education and local employers.
While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors. The importance of these skills is widely acknowledged; yet, they are not taught with consistency or given prioritization.
Now that employer collaboratives have completed the first five steps of Talent Pipeline Management (TPM), they have the information needed to improve their ROI and respond to the needs of the collaborative through a continuous improvement process.