ERIC Number: ED330894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Literacy in the Work Force. Report Number 947.
Lund, Leonard; McGuire, E. Patrick
Up to 10 percent of U.S. workers are either functionally illiterate or marginally literate. These workers increase the operational costs of their employers and restrain companies' flexibility. The high school graduates of the 1990s will exacerbate the problem by entering the work force with marginal literacy skills. A survey of 1,600 manufacturing and service firms received 163 usable responses revealing that most companies do not test for literacy or mathematical skills. Employers agree that literacy is a major problem, one that acts as a drag on the nation's ability to compete with Asian and European nations. A large number of companies provide funds and support to the community and educational groups engaged in adult literacy programs and are showing results. Business executives suggested goals that could become a literacy agenda for business: (1) develop a definition of the term "literacy"; (2) institute an auditing system to assess the extent of workplace literacy; (3) determine what skills employees need; (4) take advantage of the research and skills in teaching literacy that already exist; (5) institute a system to advise local residents of the literacy scores of high school graduates; and (6) encourage greater use of employer consortia in literacy programs. (NLA)
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Basic Skills, Business Responsibility, Community Education, Competition, Corporate Education, Educational Finance, Educational Opportunities, Entry Workers, Labor Force Development, Labor Supply, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Occupational Surveys, Workplace Literacy
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Conference Board, Inc., New York, NY.