Partnerships shape IT work force literacy
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Jul 03, 2000
The country must act now to prepare the information technology work force
of the future or companies will be unable to fill jobs with qualified workers,
a presidential commission warned last week.
The 17-member 21st Century Workforce Commission found that too many
adults are entering the U.S. work force unprepared for jobs that require
a high level of technical skills. The result, the report found, is a skills
Future workers must have "21st- century literacy skills," which include
strong academic skills; thinking, reasoning and teamwork abilities; and
proficiency in using technology. The health of the country's high-tech economy
"depends directly on how broadly and deeply Americans reach this new level
of literacy," the commission said.
"It will take partnerships among government, private industry and education
to solve the problem," said Katherine Clark, vice chairwoman of the commission
and president and CEO of Landmark Systems Corp. The commission identified
nine "keys to success" that depend on such partnerships:
* Build 21st century literacy.
* Exercise leadership.
* Form learning linkages for youth.
* Identify pathways into IT jobs.
* Increase acquisition of IT skills.
* Expand continuous learning.
* Shape a flexible immigration policy for skilled IT workers.
* Raise student achievement.
* Make technology access universal.
"A lot of the IT needs are within government," and preparing future
IT workers will help agencies and industry, Clark said. "There will be benefits
to the extent [we] improve the pipeline and availability of IT workers,"