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National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce,Philadelphia, Pa

Overview
Works: 50 works in 54 publications in 1 language and 69 library holdings
Classifications: HC79.E47,
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce,Philadelphia, Pa
Advancing adult workforce skills : opportunities and requirements for state action by David W Stevens( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

State programs offer greatest promise for practical strategic actions to enhance the quality of the nation's adult work force. Three steps in the recursive process that create a model of state action are as follows: (1) documentation of the platform for action, which consists of current adult work force attributes and current institutional capacities to advance the quality of a state's labor force; (2) initial decision with respect to short-term work force quality goals; and (3) subsequent (recurring) decisions. The maturation of initiatives in two states--California and Florida--offers documentation of the instability that characterizes state efforts to address adult work force quality issues. According to the first step of the model, the state's role is to translate national demographic predictions into state-specific labor force quality implications. The goal should be to establish a combined early warning system and accessible intelligence network. An important component of the latter is an accurate inventory of current institutional capabilities. Recommendations for work force quality enhancement include the following: (1) investigate better uses of existing data systems; (2) document current institutional capacities to respond to work force needs; (3) explore the applicability of Canada's JOBSCAN concept; (4) expand the scope of reciprocal expectations from individuals and organizations receiving state benefits; (5) consider the consequences of expanding competency certification; and (6) join the Department of Defense in recommitment of military training funds to adult work force renewal. (Contains 58 bibliographic references and 60 endnotes.) (YLB)
Look Before You Leap: State Policy and Worker Skills. Eqw Issues Number4 by Robert Zemsky( Book )

2 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Prairie State 2000 began as an Illinois initiative to guarantee dislocated workers access to training funds from a pool of employer and employee contributions. Although its rationale was sound and the need was great, it was beset with a number of difficulties: there was no real market for the training, its grants and loans were not worth the cost of the paperwork involved, and companies and workers were seeking short-term relief instead of the long-term investment training represents. The lessons of Illinois' experience for other states include the following: (1) worker training cannot revitalize the economy without business modernization; (2) firms that are unwilling to upgrade production technologies and management methods are not ready to train; and (3) training policies that work well in one state rarely meet other states' needs. The following actions are suggested for policymakers: stimulate training demand by facilitating transition to new business strategies; offer companies information, expertise, and cost-sharing plans; broker the supply of educational services by matching firms and workers with local educational providers; and promote cooperative problem solving rather than relying on traditional coercive political strategies. (Ylb)
Youth Apprenticeships: Can They Work in America? : EQW Issues Number 3 by Susan E Tifft( Book )

2 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Youth apprenticeships have the potential to address simultaneously two national dilemmas: how to prepare U.S. business and its workers for a high skills future and how to upgrade the academic skills of all students. The highly successful German model may require some modification to work well in the United States. The biggest change may have to take place in the attitudes of many people who are suspicious of a system that induces students to make career choices at a young age and requires a large amount of government oversight. Apprenticeships will not succeed unless business considers them a sound investment. The first step is creation of incentives for businesses to become partners with schools, hire young people, provide appropriate training, and assume a portion of the cost. For apprenticeships to succeed, schools will have to change their methods, schedules, and assumptions. Teachers must become more knowledgeable about employment and learn to work as partners with the business community; teaching methods must reinforce what apprenticing students learn on the job; the schedule must become more flexible; and schools must provide information regarding benefits to students and their families. The Federal Government can rewrite federal regulations to spell out how youth apprenticeship fits into existing laws, provide subsidies, and pass a national youth service law. Obstacles to change include tracking, union concerns, and lack of student aid. (YLB)
What Do We Know about How Schools Affect the Labor Market Performance of Their Students? by Amy W Johnson( Book )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Seventeen studies that linked school characteristics and labor market performance were analyzed. Each met five criteria: labor market characteristics of students after they left high school were used as output measures, quality measures of schools were identified as inputs, reasonably sophisticated statistical procedures were used, "hard" measures of labor market outcomes were used, and labor market measures after graduation were reported. Findings indicated the following: the quantity and type of vocational coursework had the most positive effect, socioeconomic status variables affected student cognitive achievement results, job experience during high school improved earnings and work stability, students' other characteristics were not significant in explaining job performance, and school location did not appear to play a role in job performance. Recommendations for increasing job performance of students who would go directly into the labor market after graduation were to focus on improvements in vocational education programs, foster job participation, and reward better teachers and schools. A longitudinal study was recommended to track the links between school characteristics and performance of students who go directly into the job market. (Two tables in the report summarize the 17 studies. Appendixes include a 23-item bibliography, a complete listing of empirical findings of school-related inputs and labor market outputs summarized in Table 1, and a detailed summary of the 17 studies and 5 others of interest summarized in Table 2.) (YLB)
The EQW Triangle. EQW Issues Number 1 by Philadelphia, PA National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce( Book )

2 editions published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Responsibility for the declining quality of the work force is evenly distributed among managers, schools, students, and the government. What is required is a new publicly sponsored partnership linking the nation's enterprises, schools, and workers. Primary responsibility for improving the quality of the work force lies with the enterprise. The firm needs to develop a flexible portfolio of worker skills, capable of quick adjustments in production aims and methods. Enterprises should be responsible for determining skill requirements and communicating those needs to educational suppliers. The nation faces a dual challenge: to prepare future workers by improving the nation's schools and to reequip the current labor force through work-related education and training. Schools need to focus more on product, less on process and to teach core competencies: mathematics, communication skills, and citizenship. The success of retraining efforts depends on the emergence of local markets that link corporate customers with educational suppliers. Too many workers lack the information and confidence to build effective skill portfolios. Individuals must be comparison shoppers for educational purchases, invest in broad-based skills for long-term payoff, and build a productive partnership with the employing firm. Public agencies must improve public schools, facilitate local market linkages, and evaluate federal funding of proprietary education. (YLB)
Are Skill Requirements Rising? : Evidence from Production and Clerical Jobs. EQW Working Papers by Peter Cappelli( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The research on the demand for skills in the U.S. economy is split over the issue of whether technological change has tended to increase or decrease job skill requirements. The question of whether job skill requirements have been rising is important to public policy debates concerning the skill gap, wage inequality, and the changing quality of jobs. Some researchers have attempted to use indirect measures of skill requirements, whereas others have used direct measures and have concentrated primarily on case studies. Neither approach is free of problems, however. A far better data source is job analysis. The job analysis measure developed by Hay Associates is similar to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) measure and includes a series of variables that capture the autonomy and complexity of jobs with respect to areas such as know-how, problem solving, and accountability. The Hay technique of job analyses was used to study the changing skill requirements for production and clerical jobs. The results suggested support for highly significant skill increases in production jobs. The results for clerical jobs, on the other hand, varied significantly by function. Half the clerical jobs examined experienced significant increases in skill needs, whereas the other half experienced significant decreases. Appendices contain data on the Hay technique, a list of production job titles, and graphical analyses of eight jobs. (Contains 83 references.) (MN)
Is the 'skills gap' really about attitudes? by Peter Cappelli( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

There is mounting evidence that the most significant deficit of new work force entrants is not an "academic skills gap" but rather poor attitudes concerning work. Despite growing recognition of their fundamental link to the quality of the work force, work attitudes have received virtually no detailed discussion in the public policy arena. Research on socialization and longitudinal studies confirm that work attitudes can indeed be influenced. Employer surveys and personality-based research studies indicate that the strength of the link between various personality traits and job performance varies widely across occupations. Research also confirms that managers can raise worker's motivation, initiative, self-determination, and persistence by providing positive feedback, information, and choices for workers to make. Another important research finding is that prosocial behavior can be developed both on the job and during early childhood. Because family background and early life experiences are good predictors of "hard-core unemployment" and because the key to shaping individuals' moral development probably lies at some middle ground between the social learning and cognitive development perspectives, it appears likely that schools can shape work-related values. The approach of teaching values along the lines of social learning or the situationist model also appears promising. (Contains 82 references.) (MN)
Is a skills shortage coming? : a review of BLS occupational projections to 2005 by John Bishop( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections of occupational employment growth have consistently underpredicted the growth of skilled occupations. BLS currently predicts that professional, technical, and managerial jobs will account for 40.9 percent of employment growth between 1990 and 2005. Forecasting regressions predict these occupations will account for 53 to 68 percent of employment growth through 2005. Between 1986 and 1991, these occupations accounted, in fact, for 64 percent of employment growth. The BLS's projections of the supply/demand balance for college graduates have also been off the mark--predicting a surplus for the 1980s, when, in fact, a shortage developed and relative wage ratios for college graduates rose to all time highs. A slowdown in the growth of college educated workers during the 1990s and a continuing escalation of wage premiums for college graduates are projected. The social returns to a college education are extremely high and are likely to go even higher. Public policy should not attempt to discourage the shift of students into engineering and business, since the market will be able to absorb even larger numbers of graduates in these areas without significant trouble. Public policy should facilitate this process by focusing special effort on improving mathematics, science, and economics instruction. In making occupational forecasts BLS should do the following: use data on trends in industry-specific occupational staffing ratios to extrapolate staffing pattern changes; be less judgmental in projecting staffing ratios; develop shorter (5-year) forecasts; and examine why forecasts were inaccurate. Presentation of projections should include the following: identification of methodological changes made; alternative scenarios; no listing of occupations with the largest forecasted growth; and information on growth in wages and employment in each occupation. (Contains 37 references.) (YLB)
Practice makes perfect : emergency medical technicians and the social negotiation of a skilled occupational identity by Bonalyn J Nelsen( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Most scholars adopt one of two orientations when explaining why some occupations are more skilled than others: realism or constructionism; both views would benefit from a consideration of interactionism. No occupations are more likely to have to negotiate their status than those that emerge from amateur or voluntary work. Members of such occupations, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), must convince their audiences in the course of face-to-face interaction that they have skill or knowledge sufficient to provide for a fee what has traditionally been free. A study focused on two commercial and two volunteer EMT agencies. The commercial agencies' actual proficiency was insufficient for establishing their reputation since some volunteers possessed equivalent skills and most of the emergency calls did not require advanced training. EMT societies made no distinction between paid and volunteer providers, and the public remained largely unaware of differences. To understand how and why the paid EMTs were acquiring a reputation for greater skills required consideration of cultural understandings, institutional supports, tasks, and even competencies as resources whose meaning and use were discovered in the course of ongoing interaction. Both groups' reputations were affected by interactions involving EMTs and interactions and interpretations of nurses, physicians, and other audiences. (Contains 90 references.) (YLB)
College and the workplace : how should we assess student performance? by Peter Cappelli( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The fact that college grades are poor predictors of future job performance is a cause for concern. A more important issue is assessment, for course grades cannot measure many of the work-relevant skills that a college education provides. Selection tests are one effort to identify and establish those characteristics of applicants that predict future job success. If classroom grades could be broken down to reveal performance in such areas as verbal ability or memory, they would be indicative of subsequent job performance because they would essentially duplicate ability tests; ability tests, however, are typically three to four times better at predicting job performance. Another way to obtain information on a job candidate is through what is called "bio-data"; detailed information on extracurricular activities may reveal knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) acquired by a student outside traditional classroom settings. Many colleges experiences provide what is the equivalent of work sample tests. Another way to get at the question of what predicts job success is to look directly at the requirements of jobs. Job analysis refers to systematic efforts to collect information about the work requirements associated with particular jobs. Job analyses either focus descriptions on the job and tasks performed or are written from the perspective of the worker and describe the KSAs required. The basic sets of KSAs could be developed more thoroughly in college instruction. The greatest improvements in assessment could be made by simply assembling existing information about student performance in more innovative ways. An appendix provides descriptions of some of the most widely used job analysis systems and identifies the KSAs that are stressed in them. (Contains 17 endnotes and 32 references.) (YLB)
The Educational Payoff. EQW Issues Number 5 by Peter Cappelli( Book )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The old "nature versus nurture" argument has resurfaced in a new guise--the role of inherent ability or of education as the source of skill and the reason for achievement. Research shows that even one additional year of schooling raises a person's wages. Even when the relationship among education, productivity, and wages appears obvious, there is evidence for two arguments. The screening argument holds that investments in education reveal the job-relevant abilities and skills that students already possess--stopping some while allowing others to pass through the mesh. The human capital model argues that skills are acquired through investment in education, which adds to the overall volume of ability. Driving this debate is the notion of the returns provided both to the individual and society by educational attainment. However, structural changes in the economy, changes in policy, and shifts in demographics illustrate how societal trends contribute to the fluctuations in returns to education. Recommendations to find the most effective location for educational attainment include the following: developing better means of determining job-relevant abilities, encouraging business-school networks, increasing retention and educational attainment, and making educational loans and financial aid more accessible to students for whom investment in educational attainment shows real promise. (YLB)
Building a world-class front-line workforce : the need for occupational skill standards in state workforce preparation programs by Robert G Sheets( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Establishment of a national-state system of world-class occupational skill standards is a first step in restructuring adult vocational-technical education and job training programs. Occupational skills standards provide the necessary foundation for addressing three major state policy issues: the state's proper role in private work-based training, improved effectiveness and efficiency of public programs, and development of a public-private credentialing system that promotes worker mobility. The German Dual System has been proposed as a model for transforming the vocational education and job training system in the United States. As shown by the Illinois Manufacturing Tech Prep Project, development of national skill standards should be based on certain assumptions about the role and structure of skill standards in state work force preparation programs: development of world-class standards, need for basic enabling skills and independent role performance, standards based on federal-state labor market policies, state education goals and implementation of applied academics, and skill assessment and credentialing. A national-state system of occupational skill standards can be constructed by building the following national-state systems: industry skill corporations, training occupations, occupational skill standards, professional and technical credentials, performance standards systems, and regulatory policies for public and private training providers. Appendices include three figures and sample skill standards from the Illinois Tech Prep Project. (Contains 38 references.) (YLB)
Competitive strategies of states : a life-cycle perspective by Patricia M Flynn( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper demonstrates that production life-cycle models provide a conceptual framework to analyze systematically the interrelationships between industrial and technological change and human resources. Section II presents the life-cycle model, focusing on its implications for the types and level of employment and skill requirements in an area. Section III uses the life-cycle framework to assess the evidence on and implications of various state programs designed for the recruitment of firms, high tech job creation, and assistance to established firms. Trends in state efforts, life-cycle implications, and potential of the state strategies are discussed for each program type. Section IV provides guidelines for states in developing effective competitiveness strategies for each of three steps: state employment assessment, inventory of state resources, and strategic thinking about employment and work force needs. The final section presents conclusions that emerge from the analysis. It focuses on defensive and proactive state actions and their long-term implications as well as on evolving responsibilities in preparing a high quality work force. The states' roles in two major areas in which labor market adjustments spill beyond the boundaries of the firm are also discussed: the skill transfer process and displaced workers. (Contains 105 references.) (YLB)
Youth Apprenticeships and School-to-Work Transition : Current Knowledge and Legislative Strategy. EQW Working Papers by Paul Osterman( Book )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

For many youths, the early years in the labor market are characterized not by an absence of jobs but rather by a "churning" process that often delays the benefits of high school educational experiences for several years. Youth apprenticeship programs should be designed to serve as a strategy/vehicle of school reform, function as a labor market program, and create institutional structures that link employers and schools. Among the principles that should be followed in designing youth apprenticeship programs are the following: permit students to change their minds about choices; link work and schooling in a substantive way; encourage schooling beyond high school; avoid tracking, gender discrimination, adult displacement, and highly specific training; and provide high quality work placements rather than just work experience. Special attention must be paid to obtaining placements, developing certification criteria and procedures, and obtaining an adequate research and development base. A youth employment policy should do the following: reflect existing demands for youth labor, facilitate the school-to-work transition, be school based, and provide adequate services to out-of-school and disadvantaged youth. (Contains 16 references.) (MN)
The New Crafts : the Rise of the Technical Labor Force and Its Implication for the Organization of Work. EQW Working Papers by Stephen R Barley( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Over the past 4 decades, the number of professional and technical workers has increased by 282 percent, and economic forecasts indicate that this trend of rapid growth will increase. The bureaucratization of the professions, expansion and application of scientific knowledge, and technological change have all fueled a "technization" of the work force. The trend toward an increasingly technical work force has not only necessitated a better educated work force but has challenged the ways in which the work force and workplace are currently conceptualized and organized. The vertical division of labor that has become increasingly dominant in Western society since the beginning of the 19th century is showing signs of strain because technical occupations (referred to as the "new crafts") are becoming increasingly analytic and are requiring ever-increasing amounts of specialized education. In view of these changes, researchers associated with the Program on Technology and Work at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations have undertaken a 5-year program to build a comparative database to facilitate the development of a grounded theory of technical work. (Contains 96 references.) (MN)
Framing the Questions : a First Look at the Japanese Labor Market. EQW Working Papers by Robert Zemsky( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Japan's economic success is clear evidence that purposeful investments in the educational quality of the work force pay major dividends in terms of enhanced productivity and increased competitiveness. The key elements of the Japanese system are, in fact, less than 40 years old. The current recession is a reminder of the transitory nature of economic trends. Within Japan, most discussions of the work force begin with the looming shortage of first-time workers and an expensive surplus of retirees. The Japanese have a relatively limited number of alternatives: increased use of female workers, greater use of older workers, increased number of guest workers, basic redistribution of workers from labor intensive sectors, and accelerated export of production jobs. The tightness of Japanese labor markets is a function of migration patterns that have yielded an economy and population increasingly concentrated in three areas: Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Side effects of educational competition include dwindling numbers of students in technical and vocational schools and increased costs of educating children that deter larger families and prolong the effects of the "baby bust." Changes for Japan may include a less rigid labor market, a shift to educational programs outside the firm, and an effort to apply the lessons of manufacturing efficiency to service sector industries. Numerous graphs and charts supplement the text. (YLB)
The New Crafts. EQW Issues Number 2 by John Gapper( Book )

1 edition published in 1992 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Predictions of occupational growth to the year 2000 show how important the "new crafts" are becoming. Workers who possess the new crafts perform jobs that often involve sophisticated technical knowledge but are not done by people with bachelor's degrees. The growth of technical jobs in the middle of organizations threatens the familiar division between managers who hold a store of technical knowledge and workers who carry out their orders. The new technical workers need a different blend of formal education up to an associate's degree level and continuing training at work afterward. Research shows that the new crafts are growing from both above and below. Many tasks done in the past by managers and elite professionals are being handed to technical workers; low-skilled workers who had little autonomy or responsibility in their routine jobs are now analyzing and responding to data. Factors driving the growth of technical jobs are the trend toward larger and more bureaucratic corporations, expansion of science, and technological change. Changes in the workplace present enterprises with huge challenges--to change ideas about the way jobs are organized and managed. Schools face the task of preparing students for jobs that do not fit the old categories of managerial or entry-level work. Workers will have to readjust their attitudes toward education. (YLB)
Button Pushers and Ribbon Cutters : Observations on Skill and Practice in a Hospital Laboratory and Their Implications for the Shortage of Skilled Technicians. EQW Working Papers by Mario Scarselletta( Book )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Employers and policymakers have traditionally sought to manage skill shortages in technical and other occupations through initiatives predicted in one of two broad definitions of skill: skill-as-input and skill-as-artifact. A weakness of both these perspectives is that focusing on the inputs and outcomes of a labor process obscures or ignores the process itself. These two perspectives could be complemented by considerations of skill-in-practice. Recent attempts to address the growing demand for medical technicians and technologists illustrate how a practice-oriented approach to skill might shed light on the nature of skill shortages and lead to more effective policy. In response to skill shortages in medical technology, Congress has proposed two bills: the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) calling for increased technical education, and the Rural Clinical Laboratory Personnel Shortage Act, which would relax some of the stringencies of CLIA. Medical technicians and technologists endorse the bill designed to downgrade skill requirements; physicians favor the bill aimed at enhancing skill requirements. The technicians' endorsement may reflect their conviction that the bill is more congruent with the work they actually perform. An ethnographic study investigated technicians' definitions of skill-in-practice and the implications for resolving skill shortages in technical occupations. At the hospital observed, the technicians' notions of skill were based not on education or job design but on specific work practices: ability to troubleshoot machines, demonstration of improvisational techniques, and social pooling of knowledge and experience to interpret ambiguous results. (Contains 52 references.) (YLB)
Beyond the St andard Employment Relationship: The Character and Determinants of Risk-Involved Teams, Altered-Time Arrangements, and the Contracting-in of Retirees. Eqw Working Papers by Peter D Sherer( Book )

2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A study examined three human resource arrangements that varied from the standard form of the employment relationship. One arrangement included risk-involved teams (RITs) in which greater reliance was placed on risk sharing and employee involvement. The second represented the "contracting-in" of retired employees (cir) to act as independent consultants. The third arrangement represented altering the dimension of time spent in the workplace, or altered-time arrangements (ATAs). Explanations for the use of the three arrangements were hypothesized, and usable data were collected from 496 organizations throughout the United States. Parallel regression models were estimated to examine the pattern of coefficients across the three dependent variables: RITs, ATAs, and cir. Findings indicated that manufacturing was behind services and other sectors in the use of ATAs but led the way in use of RITs. Regionally, the West led in use of ATAs and RITs. When the largest percentage of a firm's work force consisted of new entrants, it made more use of ATAs. Organization size was positively associated with RITs, ATAs, and cir. When organizations had more female employees, they made more use of ATAs. When organizations had a greater number of older workers, they relied more frequently on cir. RITs were used significantly less in organizations with a greater percentage of minorities in the work force. RITs appeared to be part of the implementation of a firm's business strategy. (Contains 60 references.) (Ylb)
A Matter of Degrees: Workforce Changes in Higher Education. Eqw Issues Number 8 by Robert Zemsky( Book )

1 edition published in 1994 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Studies have shown that instead of investing in the education and training (e&t) of their employees, many U.S. firms are taking advantage of the surplus of college-educated workers and are not considering the future quality or availability of work-related e&T. Research has also established that, despite the fact that increasing numbers of skilled workers need advanced work-related e&t to retain high-paying jobs in technical fields, many colleges have curricula ill suited to the needs of the nontraditional students who constitute the vast majority of individuals seeking work-related e&T. Continuation of these trends could eventually result in shortages of skilled workers that could in turn threaten the U.S. economy and U.S. firms' competitiveness/success in global markets. Higher education can play a central role in preparing a skilled work force and preventing future shortages of skilled workers by taking the following steps: (1) help firms recognize that investing in human capital will help their performance in global markets and that business must help education avoid diminished public support and government regulation and (2) preserve and improve the value of college degrees by focusing on skills standards, seeking out new markets, developing new products, and satisfying demands for technical skills and work-connected learning. (Mn)
 
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