A Demand-Side Strategy to Meet Indiana’s Workforce Basic Skills Challenge
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiated the Employer-Driven Workforce Literacy Project in late 2003. The goal is to upgrade the literacy levels of Indiana’s incumbent workforce through the development of employer-driven programs.
Phase I of the project was completed with the assistance of a broad-based Workforce Literacy Advisory Committee, a local project coordinator and a national research and consulting firm (FutureWorks of Arlington, Massachusetts). Phase II and a longer-range Phase III call for implementation of initiatives developed as a result of the research completed.
The Advisory Committee – which included representatives of business, labor, education and public sector agencies and organizations – broadened the traditional literacy definition to include:
- Communicating effectively in English;
- Learning, understanding and applying information and analysis;
- Thinking critically and acting logically to solve problems;
- Using technology, tools and information systems; and
- Working in teams, developing a positive attitude toward change and demonstrating a willingness and ability to learn for life.