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Upskilling American Workers for Middle Skill Jobs Requires a Strong Foundation

April 21, 2022

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 11am to 12pm Eastern, please join AIR for a presentation and discussion focusing on a new policy report from the ETS Center for Research on Human Capital and Education called Buttressing the Middle: A Case for Reskilling and Upskilling America’s Middle-Skill Workers in the 21st Century. This report explores the extent to which technology and automation are changing the nature of work and explains why education and higher-order skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving are becoming increasingly important to meet the level of cognitive demand in middle-skill jobs. The authors argue that these higher-order skills rely upon a strong foundation of literacy and numeracy skills which is often overlooked.

This webinar will highlight the report’s findings on:

  • Current U.S. adults’ literacy and numeracy skill levels using data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and student reading and math skill levels from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
  • The increasing skill demands for many middle-skill occupations using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ O*NET

Presenters will discuss the need to bridge the divide between the kinds of skills workers need and the skills many currently have. Also presented will be a theory of action designed to improve the literacy, numeracy and digital skills of adults that will help put them on pathways for future educational and occupational growth.

Registrants will be given the opportunity to submit questions during the webinar.



Presenter: Dr. Irwin Kirsch, Director, Center for Global Assessment, ETS

Discussant: Mr. Paul Fain, Journalist, The Job Newsletter

Moderator: Ms. Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Senior Fellow, National Skills Coalition

Thursday, April 21, 2022 11:00 am EDT

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