Building on the “Bridging the Gap” case study, America Succeeds and Skillsline co-hosted a three-part webinar series in the fall of 2023. This blog outlines key takeaways from the first webinar, “Implementing Systems for Developing Durable Skills at Work”. Check out additional conversations from this series on Durable Skills in K-12 education and Durable Skills in the future.
Stephanie Short, VP of Partnerships at America Succeeds, Dr. Ana Greif, CEO of JobPath, and Kimberly Inscho, VP of Marketing & Human Resources at Margaret Mary Health, kicked off the “Durable Skills: The Enduring Human Advantage” webinar series with an insightful discussion on the significance of Durable Skills development in the workforce.
As a quick background, Durable Skills are the non-technical competencies that underpin individual and organizational success – in other words, soft skills, transferable skills, or employability skills. A joint analysis by America Succeeds and Lightcast revealed that seven of the top ten most-requested skills in U.S. job postings (2020-2021) are Durable Skills. This conversation explored why and how Durable Skills should be integrated into professional development programs and educational institutions.
Dr. Ana Greif, whose dissertation was featured in the “Bridging the Gap” case study, shared her experience teaching Durable Skills with Skillsline to address the skills gap “…it was just such an amazing experience to watch the individuals who participated go from not really even understanding what these skills were and why they were important to becoming leaders in their workplace and really having that initiative that employers are always looking for.”
Kimberly Inscho reflected these findings through her own experience leading human resources at a small, rural hospital, “…these kids are coming in to see if they like healthcare careers as a possible pathway so they know how they’re going to learn the technical skills, the clinical skills, but it’s these human [Durable] skills that we try to introduce them to and reinforce what they’re getting through Skillsline because that’s what makes the difference in healthcare.”
Finally, Stephanie Short added, “What we [America Succeeds] truly believe is that individuals increase their agency and their confidence in both developing Durable Skills and practicing Durable Skills and then having opportunities to assert those skills to advance in college or career.”
Check out the full “Implementing Systems for Developing Durable Skills at Work” webinar in the video below.
Here are some of the key takeaways of the webinar:
- Durable Skills are a universal demand. Across all industries, regardless of occupation, geography, or educational attainment, employers want their workers to have Durable Skills.
- Company culture is crucial in developing Durable Skills. Creating a company culture where individuals feel they belong is important when integrating these skills into a workplace successfully. Accountability is also a key factor in ensuring that individuals consistently demonstrate Durable Skills. Reinforcing these skills and promoting a set of values around these skills can lead to improved outcomes for a business and employee.
- Durable skill development is a path to success. While technical skills can help individuals land a role, Durable Skills are essential for keeping a job and advancing toward economic mobility. The development and practice of these skills are pivotal in career progression.
- There is a need for a common framework for Durable Skills. Having a common lexicon for Durable Skills is beneficial for both companies and learners. It helps individuals demonstrate these skills effectively, and employers assess the skills equitably.
- Intentional teaching of Durable Skills should start at a younger age. Research shows that Durable Skills can be learned, and all individuals should have the opportunity to acquire the skills with the right support and resources.
Overall, the “Implementing Systems for Developing Durable Skills at Work” webinar highlighted the enduring importance of this skill set for personal and professional growth. A shared commitment to teaching, practicing and reinforcing these skills ensures access to fulfilling opportunities while mutually benefiting individuals, employers, and society.
Make sure to register for following conversations in the “Durable Skills: The Enduring Human Advantage” webinar series here – Durable Skills in K-12 education on November 2nd at 11 am MT and Durable Skills in the future on November 8th at 11 am MT.