NCET helps you explore business and technology
Are you struggling to find and keep employees who come equipped with strong personal and interpersonal skills that you want or need them to have?
You are not alone! Employers increasingly value these “soft skills” yet have trouble finding them in the candidate pool or developing them. This “soft skills gap” is widening – largely because these types of social-emotional intelligence skills are not measured, developed, or certified by high school diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, nor technical/vocational courses.
What skills do employers value the most? Routine factory and service jobs call for self-discipline to show up on time, respectful and effective communication with supervisors, teammates and/or customers, and task completion with minimal oversight. Employers report that even
these basic skills are lacking in many diploma-holders today.
Yet as routine labor jobs are replaced by automation, companies need more knowledge workers with higher-order capacities. These include being self-directed to seek out, learn and apply new information quickly; utilizing technologies effectively; thinking critically, analytically, and creatively to identify and solve complex problems; and communicating persuasively through physical and virtual meetings with impactful presentations and videos.
For the BEST jobs, candidates must collaborate well with diverse people to design innovative processes, products and services with project teams inside and outside the organization.
Unfortunately, today’s education system is poorly equipped to develop these “deep soft skills” within all learners. While some pockets of innovation exist where students do high quality collaborative action inquiry (often called “project-based learning”), good programs are expensive, selective, and have demand backlog (e.g., some STEM/STEAM schools, IB and AP Capstone programs, gifted and talented schools, career and technical education (CTE), workplace internships, private schools).
So how can EVERY young person have access to high quality opportunities to learn the skills and capacities to thrive?
This is the daunting problem that the Education Innovation Collaborative seeks to solve. EIC is a nonprofit coalition of innovative leaders, practitioners and advocates collaborating to “reimagine education to empower every learner.” We aim to support “innovation zone” communities that support students to develop their full talents and contributions to their workplaces and communities.
Join me July 17 to learn about these exciting programs, ways you can participate in them, and experience a collaborative action research process that develops the deep durable skills we ALL need. Parents, teachers, managers and employers – come learn how to use this powerful process in your home, schools and places of work to close the soft skills gap!
Get more info and register for Mary’s Biz Café workshop July 17 at NCETcafe.org. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.
Mary Alber is Director of EIC, led the design of an XQ Super School grant proposal (selected as a semi-finalist), holds a PhD in transformative learning and change, an MBA in multinational MIS from Wharton, a BA in Engineering, worked as a consultant with Bain & Company and Accenture and a product manager with DEC, and participates in the Workforce Consortium NNV and Education Alliance of WC.