Job Skills Training Network: A Practitioner’s Guide

Jeff Lundy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF)
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Part of a series of four primers for corporate responsibility professionals interested in various social and environmental topics, this guide will inform new and experienced professionals with the most up-to-date and important information on the issue of job skills training.

In this context "Job skills training” refers to training or certification of skills to meet employer needs. It is about building human capital through education in discrete skills or trades that can be transferred between companies in an industry. It can serve as an alternative to traditional education or as a supplement, providing training to those who seek to “skill up” or move to a new industry. Ultimately, the focus is on providing current and prospective workers with the skills that employers need. From the perspective of corporate responsibility, job skills training encompasses the following:

  • Retraining unemployed workers to find new jobs
  • Increasing job creation domestically and internationally through skills training programs
  • Implementing skills training programs in schools

Of most relevance to practitioners in the field of Youth Economic Opportunities, will be the following issues addressed in the guide:

  • Skills Gap: 15-year-olds from the United States placed 18th of 33 Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries on their math scores.
  • Career Technical Education (CTE): From 1990 to 2009, high school students earned 25% fewer credits in CTE or Occupational Education courses.
  • Career Technical Education (CTE): Of all the high schools in the United States, only 3.7% were considered CTE or vocational schools in 2008.
  • College and Career-Ready Education: Only 45% of the students who took the ACT scored “college ready” in mathematics, and only 53% of students scored “college ready” in reading
  • College and Career-Ready Education: Nearly 80% of all jobs in the United States require postsecondary education or training.
Workforce Development
Training & Capacity
Vocational Education