Here’s the best definition of lifelong learning I’ve heard so far: “At the end of the day, everyone goes home smarter.” That line was delivered by Tom Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering, a Chicago-area food catering company that was one of two companies honored by Workforce Chicago at a recent breakfast hosted by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.
- Based on entrepreneur Jack Stack’s philosophy of sharing financial results and responsibilities with employees at all levels, Tasty employees are in charge of contributing to their slice of the bottom line. With everyone from delivery vehicle maintenance staff to executives searching for ways to grow revenue and contain costs, Tastey saw 2011’s sales increase 10% and profits rise 125%.
- Employees learn how to read financial statements, too, so that Tasty can become “A business of businesspeople.”
- One Tasty employee detected a market opportunity for corporate gift baskets and developed a business plan for a college class. She presented her concept to her bosses…and walked out with a $50,000 launch fund, sparking a new division. That’s more than frosting!
How can career lattices help you bridget skills gaps today and tomorrow?
I’ll spell it out in an Oct. 3 webinar hosted by Monster.com. Sabrina McCoy, head of diversity for Chubb Insurance, will share the inside story of how that insurance giant has re-oriented its culture and talent development from very ladder to very lattice.
Sabrina and I have both latticed to advance our careers, so our own stories are Exhibit A. It’s free, so we hope you’ll join us!
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President Obama’s 2013 budget reportedly includes $8 billion to fund workforce training through community colleges.
That’s a start – and certainly community colleges are prime collaborators with local industry, so deserve the cash. But it’s not enough to set up workers with a toolbox of today’s skills. Employees know they need to string those skills into a coherent path so they never again end up in a career dead-end.
A study released in November by Accenture found that 55% of U.S. workers believe they need more skills to be successful at the jobs they have now, or that they want to have. And 68% of employees say it’s up to them to pursue that triaining.
Employers may complain about the skills gap, but, guess what? They perpetuate it. Fewer than half of employees get employer-provided formal training, according to the Accenture Skills Gap Study.
Here’s how employers invest in training, according to the types of training employees told Accenture they got:
52% – technology
31% – problem solving
26% – analytical skills
21% – management skills
Employers don’t even inventory the skills their current employees have; instead, they assume that they have to start advertising for someone with new skills.
Latticing links the people employees have with the skills they need to qualify for the jobs employers need to fill. That’s how it solves the skills gap. Community colleges can build long-term relationships with local employers by weaving career paths into their curricula. And that will bridge the skills gap.