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Workforce Skills

"...Policymakers and employers around the world are realizing the mismatch between the outcomes promoted by their education systems and the skills required for work and life in the 21st century. Recognizing that more careful attention needs to be given to their place in primary and secondary educational practice, various organizations have identified as essential many of these types of skills in recent years.

— Richard D. Roberts, Jonathan E. Martin, and Gabriel Olaru; Asia Society






The question of America’s future economic health remains a top national concern, and developing tomorrow’s workforce is a key part of that discussion. There are now numerous publications circulating in the business and education communities that detail the skills today’s children will need to succeed in the future workforce. Afterschool experts have begun to ask how the field of afterschool and expanded learning contributes to the development of these workforce readiness skills.  

The Riley Institute surveyed the statewide afterschool network leads, who sit at a critical vantage point between policy and programming, to find out how quality afterschool programs help develop the workforce skills needed in today’s economy. Now in all 50 states, the statewide afterschool networks serve as a driving force, developing partnerships, bringing stakeholders together, and sharing best practices to ensure affordable, sustainable afterschool and summer learning programs are available. For this survey, the Riley Institute utilized a comprehensive skills list from the National Network of Business and Industry Associations along with additional skills from other nationally-regarded publications. Survey responses indicate the extent to which workforce readiness skills are developed in afterschool programming and how programs are developing these skills. Results can be found here. Slides for use in presentations on this topic are here. Please feel free to use them.

If you have a question about the study or would like any additional information, please contact Cathy Stevens with the Riley Institute at Furman University at  

To view a blog that was created by The Afterschool Alliance about the Riley Institute's survey, click here.

Skills Lists Utilized for Afterschool and Workforce Skills survey:

Skills list from Business Roundtable, click here.

Indiana Skills List, click here.

Profile of a South Carolina graduate, click here.

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