Detailed handbook for employers and workforce agencies seeking strategies for closing the skills gap in the United States.

“This handbook was created to expand upon the commitments and efforts that many [employers] have already made to advance the skills and careers of frontline workers. It is intended to be used by people in various functions and roles, within organizations of various sizes across industries and sectors. In this handbook, [employers] will find a maturity model that can help [to] assess [an] organization’s current ability to advance the skills and careers of frontline workers as well as understand the leading practices that [other] employers have already implemented to effectively upskill their frontline workers.

The handbook also provides a business case [that employers] can use to educate [their organizations] and its leaders about upskilling and the opportunities it can create [within an] organization. Securing support and engagement from senior business leaders [are] critical to launching and sustaining [these] upskilling initiatives” (p.7).

The three broad categories of UpSkilling initiatives:

“Work Based Learning. Consists of structured learning that occurs at the workplace and includes: On-the-job experience, Apprenticeship, Training.

Continued Education. Consists of post-secondary learning activities and programs that includes: Higher education programs, professional certifications.

Career Navigation. Consists of providing guidance, assistance, and advocacy for employees to find the most suitable opportunities for skills development and career planning purposes. It includes: Mentorship, Sponsorship, Career Coaching” (p.25)

(Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“This handbook serves as just one tool toward supporting employers in this initiative. It serves as an additional resource to your organization; the business case, maturity model, recommendations, and tools provided are a starting point for driving change and establishing or improving upskilling initiatives that you may already have in place”(p.46). In addition to making the case for upskilling to businesses, this resource provides tools for each business to understand their upskilling ability and provides specific steps for getting started. The resource provides specific examples of workforce challenges in a wide range of fields, such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, food & beverage, IT manufacturing, and utilities. The handbook describes step by step how these challenges can be resolved through upskilling workers. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)