ERIC Number: ED401428
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Workplace Education Programs in Small and Medium-Sized Michigan Firms. Staff Working Paper 92-13.
Hollenbeck, Kevin; Anderson, William
A project collected data from small and medium-sized firms (employing fewer than 500) in Michigan concerning workplace education programs. It addressed why firms were or were not offering programs, program characteristics, and program impacts on firms and employees. Case studies of 28 businesses were undertaken from May 1991-July 1992 and a mail/telephone survey of small businesses was conducted in early 1992. Findings indicated that 25-40 percent of production workers had deficiencies in general basic skills according to employers. Fewer than 5 percent of small and medium-sized businesses offered workplace education programs. They were motivated by four major factors: receiving a subsidy to underwrite program costs, preparing workers to benefit from job training, meeting customer requirements or improving customer relations, and improving employee well-being. Companies with programs tended to be larger in employment size, pay higher wages, and spend more on training. As many as one-third of firms without programs had never considered providing workplace education. At least 40 percent of firms with programs used company staff as instructors. For programs with external providers, mathematics was the most widely taught subject. Major impacts of workplace education programs were on employee self-confidence, ability to function as a team, and improvements in mathematics and communication skills. (An appendix provides short standardized summaries of the 28 case studies.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Basic Skills, Educational Benefits, Employee Attitudes, Employer Attitudes, Job Skills, Literacy Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, State Surveys, Workplace Literacy
W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 300 South Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49002 (first copy $1; additional copies $.50 each).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Southport Inst. for Policy Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Upjohn (W.E.) Inst. for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, MI.
Note: Paper presented at "Workplace Education in Michigan: The State of the State" co-sponsored by Mott Community College, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and Southport Institute for Policy Analysis.