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Employer survey shows Delaware job-seekers lack basic computer, non-tech skills

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College degree not required for most positions

The Delaware Workforce Development Board released key findings from its recent survey of Delaware employers conducted by Zogby Analytics. The survey was commissioned by the board to further efforts in matching skills to available job openings, a release stated.

Board Chair, Scott Malfitano, noted that the 251 respondents representing different job sizes and sectors throughout the state, adding that “such a scope was critical to the value of this information in ensuring the board’s programs are as effective as possible.”

Hightlights

  1. While two- or four-year colleges were considered somewhat or very important in recruitment by half or more of the respondents, so were technical and career schools, with four out of five respondents having employment opportunities that do not require a college degree
  2. Almost half the companies surveyed accept individuals who were part of the criminal justice system
  3. More than 40% of respondents cited self-motivation (53%), communication skills (51%), problem-solving/critical thinking (45%), and attention to detail (43%) as the general skills and experience gaps that have significant impacts on recruitment
  4. The technical skills gaps uncovered included a lack of Microsoft Excel and Word skills as well as shortcomings in basic computer literacy.

The Board, with the assistance of Tech Impact’s Delaware Data Innovation Lab, continues to mine the large amount of data underpinning the survey for statistical insights into the needs of Delaware’s employers.

Additional findings will aid the Board in supporting training programs and continuing its work with businesses across Delaware to grow the size and skills level of the state’s workforce. Such efforts are critical given Delaware’s ongoing employment talent competition with areas such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Salisbury, MD, a release stated.

­­­The relationship between the survey and the Board’s goals was summed up by Jonathan Zogby, CEO of Zogby Analytics, “It was forward thinking of Delaware’s Workforce Development Board to utilize advanced survey research methodologies to better understand Delaware businesses’ current needs. The pertinent decision to utilize a hybrid methodology produced an accurate and representative sample to analyze and provided rich feedback for the board’s workforce strategies.”

For more information about the survey’s findings, see the survey results below



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