Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Bridging the Skills Gap: Solutions that Work

New Options Program: New Options New Mexico is part of a $28 million, multiyear investment by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create new pathways to employment for young adults. It focuses on building a skills-based hiring model that enables employers and job seekers to speak a common language when they describe essential job skills.

Tennessee Technology Centers: The 27 Tennessee Technology Centers are the state’s provider of workforce development strategies. The network offers more than 70 occupational programs to help job seekers train for a career and help businesses build a skilled workforce. Local industry demand determines the programs each campus offers. Instructors are experienced in the occupation they teach and are expected to maintain occupational certifications or licenses. This model is working for Tennessee: The average completion rate is 75 percent, and the average placement rate is 80 percent.

These three applications share a common element — a language for educators and employers based on uniform, measurable job content. The tools common to these applications include:

1. A process of job analysis to identify critical tasks and recommended skill levels. This analysis identifies the skill requirements for each job.
2. Standardized, evidence-based workplace skills assessments that measure skill levels and match them with job analysis data.
3. Widely recognized workplace credentials that document readiness for growth and development, which verify skill levels and are transportable across industries and geography.

Employers across America who use these tools have results to report.

Berner Food & Beverage, Inc., of Dakota, Illinois. The 70-year old private label supplier of food and beverage products for retailers reported turnover rates in one department that cost the company nearly $200,000 a year in 2009 and 2010. Berner used data, assessments and credentials to reduce turnover to just over 2 percent in 2011. They also lowered, over a two-year period, workers’ compensation expense by 95 percent, and the cost of nonconforming product by 80 percent. The firm is currently experiencing the best run without a lost-time injury in company history. Stephen Kneubuehl, president and CEO, attributes much of the turnaround to training, assessments and certification offered at Highland Community College.

Article Keywords:   education   training   skills  


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