Workforce Readiness: Competencies and Assessment

By Harold F. O'Neil Jr. | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Review of Workforce Readiness Theoretical Frameworks

Harold F. O'Neil, Jr. CRESST/ University of Southern California

Keith Allred Eva L. Baker CRESST/ University of California, Los Angeles

At the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), we have been working to develop the needed assessment measures of identified workforce readiness skills.

Our development has been in the context of the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). The purpose of this chapter is to identify and categorize workforce skills identified in five major studies ( O'Neil, Allred, & Baker, 1992). The five studies we examined are described in the following reports: (a) What Work Requires of Schools, conducted by the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) for the U.S. Department of Labor ( U.S. Department of Labor, 1991); (b) Workplace Basics: The Essential Skills Employers Want, conducted by the American Society for Training and Development ( ASTD) with the support of the Department of Labor ( Carnevale, Gainer, & Meltzer, 1990); (c) the Michigan Employability Skills Employer Survey, conducted by the Michigan Employability Skills Task Force (Employability Skills Task Force, 1988, 1989; Mehrens, 1989); (d) Basic and Expanded Basic Skills, conducted by the New York State Education Department ( 1990); and (e) High Schools and the Changing Workplace: The Employers' View, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences ( NAS; 1984). Also, for the purpose of this chapter, we updated our 1992 analysis.

These studies have their source in a common concern. Current economic difficulties and the challenge of competing in the world market

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