“We’re focused on creating a ladder of opportunity so people can build a career at Walmart, regardless of where they start. We believe our investments to improve career paths for our associates, including robust training and education offerings with technical and durable skills, have strengthened our workforce and contributed positively to our stores and communities.” – Sean Thurman, Director-Global Public Policy, Walmart
In an era when technical skills are evolving at an unprecedented pace, there is an important set of durable ‘soft skills’ that last throughout an entire career—how we use what we know (critical thinking, communication, etc.) and our character skills.
Analysis of 82 million job postings from the past two years reveals that 7 of the 10 top requested skills are Durable Skills. And, the top 5 Durable Skills were requested in job postings 3.8 times more often than the top 5 hard skills.
America Succeeds’ Durable Skills initiative seeks to ensure every individual is prepared with the soft skills necessary for success in the workforce regardless of educational attainment, career path, or industry sector.
Durable Skills Initiative Support
Employer Perspectives on Durable Skills
“Companies will continue to compete on innovation and talent like never before which makes the use, sharing, and transparency of skills data across stakeholder groups even more important to the world of work. Collective action around durable skills is one way to ensure Americans have the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and the economy has the skilled workforce it needs to grow.” – Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
“The hotel and lodging industry exemplifies the American Dream, fostering development, upward mobility, and exciting life-long careers. As an industry built around hospitality, we recognize the important role durable skills play in helping our associates provide unparalleled guest experiences and innovate to build the future of the industry.” – Rosanna Maietta, President & CEO, AHLA Foundation
“The men and women who manufacture in the United States are called upon to produce an amazing variety of products, especially as we continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. From the supplies that make our lives easier and safer to the medicines, vaccines, and treatments that make our lives healthier, manufacturing employees create the world of today and tomorrow. It is the durable skills of these employees, the creativity and teamwork, that makes innovation possible and brings these new and vital products to life.” – Carolyn Lee, Executive Director, The Manufacturing Institute
“Business leaders, creative workers, and arts educators have known for a long time that creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and creative problem solving are what’s going to drive the next boom in our national economy. Coming together to center these durable skills in the future education of our children is crucial to the U.S.’s future global success and the social and economic success of local communities.” – Clay Lord, Vice President of Strategic Impact, Americans for the Arts
“The debate over the future of work confirms the many challenges we face in preparing young people for an increasingly complex digital world. It is imperative we expand career pathway opportunities centered around job-ready training, industry-recognized credentials, and a continuous learning mindset focusing equally on technical and durable skills.” – Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA
“Contractors are at the heart of infrastructure in every community across America. The technical skills of today’s craft professionals are second to none, but it’s absolutely essential that they have the durable skills to be able to contribute and succeed in this dynamic workforce.” – Greg Sizemore, Vice President of HSE and Workforce Development, Associated Builders and Contractors
“Organizations remain dependent on an economy where HR professionals and talent acquisition specialists are the principal consumers of skills data. Leveraging transparency in skills data, especially for durable skills, is the key lever in making organizational development and competitive advantage a reality. Durable skills data at their fingertips will make HR professionals more effective and their organizations even more successful.” – Alexander Alonso, PhD, SHRM-SCP, Chief Knowledge Officer, SHRM
“The only thing certain about the future is its uncertainty. The jobs of the future, and the professional skills needed for them, continue to evolve. So, for students to have the best opportunity to succeed they need to learn how to learn, how to communicate, and how to think. There’s nothing “soft” about these skills – they set the foundation for a mindset of continuous learning that is most needed once they leave school and join a work environment none of us can predict.” – Evan Leybourn, CEO, Business Agility Institute
Initiative Approach & Impact
- Analyzing millions of job postings to identify the skills most in-demand skills in partnership with Emsi
- Uniting business leaders in collective advocacy efforts related to the universal need for Durable Skills
- Leveraging state partners to align education pathways with real-world workforce demand
- Catalyzing both employers and education systems to include Durable Skills in trainings and education offerings
Parents, state leaders, and policymakers are aligned in their desire to provide students a solid foundation for the future. Business leaders across industries are aligned around the skills demanded in every career. It is our belief that by working together, we can ensure that students and communities become more resilient in the rapidly evolving world of work.