This Week's Herman Trend Alert

in Normal 2.0


  The Herman Trend Alert

January 17, 2001

Basic Education at Work

Employers are increasingly frustrated by workers' deficiencies in fundamental reading, writing, and math skills. The labor shortage is complicated by the difficulty in finding people who are qualified to work . . . or at least trainable. Insufficient basic education makes training considerably more challenging.

American Management Association studies reveal that over 38 percent of 1999 job applicants lacked the literacy and numeracy skills required to perform the jobs they applied for, according to AMA's annual survey on workplace testing. This figure is alarming when compared against the same measures in recent years: 35.5 percent in 1998 and 22.8 percent in 1997.

Several factors influence the greater numbers. First, we're reaching much further into the labor pool, hiring people with less preparation for work. The problem is exacerbated by the higher capacities demanded by computerized processes and expectations that employees will be able to perform a wider range of skill-dependent tasks. A third factor is the inadequate development of students in our public school systems.

The AMA study reported that more companies are testing for basic skills, something we'd certainly expect given requirements and exposures involved in hiring today. We learned that only 13 percent of the companies surveyed offer employees remedial training. This remedial training costs an average of only $289 per trainee.

Our forecast is that more employers will invest in remedial education for their workers. Employers will be forced into this effort; the decision won't be easy. Once committed, however, employers will strive to provide a valuable, comprehensive, and effective educational program. This venture will be expensive, but a wise investment in attracting, growing, and retaining people who sincerely want to learn and earn. Language, culture, and life-management skills will be taught along with the basics.

Teachers will be recruited from public school systems, already faced with serious staff shortages. Corporations will pay more, provide better facilities, and offer adult students motivated to learn. Some companies will collaborate with school systems to award diplomas to graduates, fostering cooperative teacher-sharing arrangements.

Secondary impact: school systems will feel even more pressure to adjust teacher compensation, working conditions, and facilities.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

Each week, Joyce and Ira will address some aspect of the future on Ahead of the Curve in Normal 2.0. It's fun and informative and you can join here. Subscribe and you will be notified when we are live.

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine, FORBES, and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by November 10th @

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.