BOX 4-1 THE SECRETARY OF LABOR'S COMMISSION ON ACHIEVING NECESSARY SKILLS

The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) (1991) produced a list of goals and objectives of what employees need to be considered effective workers. SCANS proposed a set of five competencies workers should have.

Workplace Competencies

  • Resources—They know how to allocate time, money, materials, space, and staff.

  • Interpersonal skills—They can work on teams, teach others, serve customers, lead, negotiate, and work well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

  • Information—They can acquire and evaluate data, organize and maintain files, interpret and communicate, and use computers to process information.

  • Systems—They understand social, organizational, and technological systems; they can monitor and correct performance; and they can design or improve systems.

  • Technology—They can select equipment and tools, apply technology to specific tasks, and maintain and troubleshoot equipment.

In addition, SCANS recommended three foundation skills and personal qualities that are needed for solid job performance.

Foundation Skills

  • Basic Skills—reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking, and listening.

  • Thinking Skills—the ability to learn, to reason, to think creatively, to make decisions, and to solve problems.

  • Personal Qualities—individual responsibility, self-esteem and self-management, sociability, and integrity.

desired effect. Because of the neighborhoods they tend to live in, those who are employed are likely to work in small firms and on a casual basis, arrangements that give them less protection in their jobs. It is especially critical that disadvantaged youth have opportunities to take leadership positions, not only to serve as subordinates (Hamilton and Claus, 1981). Poor, urban adolescents are also more



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