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state-operated Public Employment Service that has been available on the Internet for several years (at www.ajb.dni.us). The number of Internet sites that provide similar services, targeted to particular geographic regions, occupations, and industries, is proliferating rapidly (e.g., the ComputerJobs Store, Inc., sponsors a web site for those seeking jobs in the computer industry at www.computerjobs.com). As we discuss in detail in Chapter 6, similar challenges face the U.S. military as it adapts its occupational structures to new technologies and changing missions. For example, the U.S. Army task lists are 50 percent shorter than in the past, and they are now updated by training school personnel rather than Army Research Institute staff.
The committee anticipates that the availability of O*NET™ will accelerate the development of applications software available from private-sector vendors to serve the needs of the user community. It seems likely that increasing use of O*NET™ databases will increase pressure on the Department of Labor to complete the full database and maintain its currency. It also seems likely that occupational software applications will proliferate, with competitive pressures of the marketplace determining product success. We note that the same phenomenon occurred for products based on the DOT; however, because of the much greater scope of work descriptors of O*NET™ and its electronic medium, we expect that the number and variety of occupational software products available within a few years will be much greater than in the past.
Research and developmental work are needed in both the public and private sectors before these predictions become reality. However, the advent of O*NET™ and the Internet make some version of this scenario virtually inevitable. We conclude with speculations about how O*NET™, when coupled with applications software, could satisfy user needs and, in so doing, contribute to national economic development. Specifically, we provide two brief illustrations of how O*NET™-based occupational information technology could be used to address today's workforce challenges.
Consider the cases of Sal Carpinella and Stan Adamchick, two workers displaced by a defense shipyard in Philadelphia. They found their way into new jobs with the help of career search and