Missy Crutchfield of the City of Chattanooga’s Education, Arts and Culture Department says, “The more we build and strengthen relationships between all groups the better the services and support are for the community.”
United Way of Chattanooga’s CEO, Eva Dillard continues, “The more we build and strengthen relationships between all groups the better the services and support are for the community. We are pleased that in this year’s summit we will be talking about “assets” and how those assets might be connected through the arts and social services.”
Rodney VanValkenburg of Allied Arts believes that a “whole child” approach is key to educating youth and that the Arts play an important role in education. He points out that in Chattanooga, from school to school, arts education varies greatly with some schools in the city offering many and varied art programs while others, “not so much.” Whether a child benefits from arts programs in school should not be by the “luck” of having attended an area school which offers arts and cultural programs, but by “design,” he continues.
“Arts are for All” is Allied Arts new initiative and VanValkenburg says the “All” are the kids who are getting off the school bus, the kids taking water ballet and those taking drumming workshops with the “Shaking Ray Levis.” Over 50% of Allied Arts funding goes to programs for children and senior citizens.
As the United States economy continues to struggle with high unemployment and the effects of the severe recession, American workers and employers agree that new workers are not prepared to enter the workforce. And addressing these workforce readiness gaps will be critical to our nation’s long-term economic recovery.
Here are the “key findings” of the survey:
- When asked how they would rate the preparation of recent students or graduates for an entry-level job in their workplace, American workers said not very prepared (37 percent), somewhat prepared (34 percent) and very prepared (14 percent).
- When given the choices of professionalism, communication, problem solving, working in teams, reading comprehension and math/science, employees rated the most important skill set necessary to succeed in their workplace as communication (29 percent), problem solving (27 percent), professionalism (20 percent), working in teams (11 percent), reading comprehension in English (9 percent) and math/science (5 percent).
- Given the changes ahead in our economy, survey respondents said that the skills most important for new entrants to possess in their workplace were are follows: understanding the role of business in the global economy (27 percent), having entrepreneurial skills (18 percent), making important choices concerning health and wellness (16 percent), participating in the community as an informed citizen (16 percent), exercising personal financial responsibility (15 percent) and speaking a foreign language (8 percent).
- When asked where the primary responsibility rests for ensuring new employees are prepared to enter the workforce, the workers surveyed said educators (72 percent), followed by employers (21 percent) and government (8 percent).
I was interested to find that the employers who were surveyed rated the three most important skills for workers in the 21st Century workplace as Communication, Problem Solving and Professionalism.
Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
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