Coalition: Coordinator wanted
Survey reveals what skills employers want in new hires
December 3, 2008
One down, three to go.
Members of a local coalition looking to prepare students for post-graduate life recently learned what they need to teach.
Now, they need a coordinator, instructors and students.
The Moffat County Work and Life Skills Program Coalition met Tuesday afternoon to review results from an online survey designed to identify what skills should be taught to new workforce entrants.
Survey respondents included students, parents, teachers and business personnel. Overall, they identified reading comprehension as the most important skill recent graduates should bring to the workforce.
But survey results also show the coalition should focus on other areas.
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A majority of respondents said new hires have adequate or excellent reading skills, said Pete Bergmann, Moffat County School District superintendent and coalition member.
However, 71 percent of responding employers said lack of work ethic and productivity combined was the largest problem they saw among employees, he added.
Financial literacy was the second-highest concern among employers, followed by critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Coalition members, including representatives from the school district and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, said they plan to focus on these areas in classes and seminars, which are scheduled to begin in January and continue through April.
Money from Colorado Works, the state’s welfare program, funds the coalition. In addition to preventing out-of-wedlock pregnancies, as per grant requirements, the program also is designed to prepare high school students for success in their adult lives as employees and individuals.
The coalition’s next task: finding a coordinator.
On this step, coalition members should move quickly, EDP Director Darcy Trask said.
If the group cannot find a coordinator, responsibility for the program falls on the EDP.
“We do have a bit of a problem if we don’t get someone hired and hired soon,” she said.
Coalition members also may have to find additional instructors if the class workload becomes more than one full-time or two part-time coordinators can handle.
Securing one element of the program, however, may be easy: the students
Based on responses collected at the high school, about 200 students are interested in participating, said Paula Duzik, MCHS counselor.
That’s the number coalition members are planning on.
However, Duzik cautioned, some students could change their mind, leaving open slots.
In Trask’s estimation, however, having some open space may not be a bad thing.
“I’d hate to turn a kid away if we know we’re going to have some attrition,” she said.