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NEARLY 70 PERCENT OF U.S. WORKERS LACK BASIC WORK SKILLS

 NEARLY 70 PERCENT OF U.S. WORKERS LACK BASIC WORK SKILLS
 DETROIT, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Recession-wracked U.S.


manufacturers say global competition demands a more highly skilled work force in the 1990s, but up to 70 percent of their workers lack basic reading, writing and math skills, a new study shows.
 Nearly 70 percent of blue-collar workers on the job lack basic writing skills, forcing employers to set up remedial training programs or look outside their own companies for more highly skilled workers, according to the recent "Survey of Human Resources Trends" conducted by HRStrategies, Inc., a human resources consulting firm.
 Findings of the survey -- based on responses from a nationwide sample of 600 company human resource executives -- were released to the public today (Thursday, Jan. 16). The scientific national study created by HRStrategies was conducted over a six-month period and involved nearly all U.S. business sectors.
 "Employers indicate more than half of their blue-collar workers have serious literacy problems," said Dr. David P. Jones, Ph.D. and president of HRStrategies. "These workers lack the ability to put basic ideas onto paper."
 "The majority of today's workers also lack basic reading, problem- solving and teamwork skills needed in the workplace and employers say the 'skills gap' is getting worse," Dr. Jones said. "They report difficulties in finding people who 'can do' and 'will do' the increasingly demanding jobs of today's workplace."
 The trend toward weak writing skills also extends to the white- collar work force where nearly one out of three professional- or managerial-level employees lack adequate writing skills. Nearly half of all office and clerical workers lack basic writing skills, the study shows.
 Dr. Jones said the survey shows the "skills gap" between employer needs and employee skills is widening. As a result, there is a growing trend among employers to abandon traditional employment interviews and applications for sophisticated skills assessment tests in their employment processes.
 Other findings in the comprehensive study of emerging human resources trends in U.S. employment practices include:
 -- As the demand for employee skills grows along with technological advancements, employers are using new selection and training methods for their work force.
 -- Nine out of 10 employers will use "pay-for-performance" compensation to motivate workers.
 -- One in three employers is reducing health care benefits to combat rising costs.
 -- Fully one-half the organizations surveyed are actively planning for the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July of 1992. (Seminars on ADA are being conducted by HRStrategies in regional locations throughout the U.S. Call: 800-HRS-SKIL.)
 -- While larger companies are increasingly offering childcare and parental leave programs, less than one-in-four small companies are offering similar programs.
 HRStrategies, headquartered in Grosse Pointe, Mich., employs 80 full-time staff and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Hartford, Conn. HRStrategies assists major corporations -- including: Ford Motor Company, Motorola, Philip Morris, Pepsi-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and others -- to develop skills assessment, job design, employee selection, training and legal compliance programs. In 1991 HRStrategies was ranked 40th on the Michigan 100 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the state. In addition to its prominent national clients, HRStrategies is extending its business into Eastern Europe.
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: James Preston of HRStrategies, 313-881-8885; or Bruce Babiarz of Addison Group, 313-884-5020, for HRStrategies/ CO: HRStrategies, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU:


SB -- DE004 -- 0396 01/16/92 10:07 EST
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Date:Jan 16, 1992
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