ERIC Number: ED344042
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Workforce Preparedness for Economic Development: Report on the 1989 North Carolina Business and Industry Survey.
Vasu, Michael L.; Frazier, Andy
North Carolina employers were asked to evaluate the skills possessed by graduates of the state's educational institutions. The study also profiled any problems employers had in finding qualified applicants for positions. Baseline data were collected to profile education and training programs provided by employers. A random sample of 2,334 employers was surveyed; 1,150 responded. Results were divided into three areas: skill levels of high school graduates, problems finding qualified applicants, and the widening skills gap. According to the findings, only 53.9% believed that high school graduates have adequate reading skills. Other skills were reported to be inadequate: writing (51.8%), math (48.2%), thinking (40%), and communications (51.2%). Regardless of firm size, a majority of the employers are dissatisfied with the preparedness of high school graduates for entry-level jobs. Much greater satisfaction was expressed with community college and university graduates. On average, respondents report finding 28 of every 100 applicants qualified. Overall, 69.4% perceive a widening skills gap between employer needs and worker skills. Larger firms were more likely to anticipate making large investments in new technology. Employers reported a nearly 300% increase in the number of jobs requiring some postsecondary education. A central theme in the relationship between work force preparedness and economic prosperity is the importance of human capital in the future economic equation. Much of the economic future will depend upon the forgotten half of the student population, those who may find themselves considered functionally illiterate. There is a need for greater attention to elementary-secondary and adult literacy. (Responses to open-ended survey questions and 65 references are included.) (NLA)
Descriptors: College Graduates, Economic Development, Educational Assessment, Employer Attitudes, Employment Potential, Employment Qualifications, Entry Workers, High School Graduates, High Schools, Human Capital, Job Applicants, Job Performance, Job Skills, Job Training, Labor Force Development, Literacy, School Business Relationship, Skill Development
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina State Dept. of Administration, Raleigh.; North Carolina Governor's Office, Raleigh.; North Carolina State Dept. of Economic and Community Development, Raleigh.
Identifiers: North Carolina