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Workforce readiness can be defined as having new workplace entrants prepared to enter the workforce with the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities and attributes in order to engage in endeavors that will be required in their respective occupations. Partnerships and alliances between educational institutions, governmental entities and employers can assist in ensuring that these new workforce entrants are sufficiently prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities they will face in the workplace.

HR professionals are uniquely suited to address many of the challenges raised by workforce readiness issues. HR professionals can play a strategic role in helping employers formulate exacting standards for workforce skills, capabilities and attributes that the employer community needs. Additionally, the HR community can take the lead in coalition building to articulate the need for developing rigorous standards, which can be shared throughout the business community and serve as a basis for advocacy of workforce readiness efforts. HR professionals can bring their quantitative skills to help develop programs to improve workforce readiness and to evaluate models and pilot programs to ensure their effectiveness and adaptability in meeting current needs and their ability to anticipate future needs.

Workforce Readiness is something that EPSHRM believes in very strongly. If you have something that you would like to share with our membership, please contact our workforce readiness director at

SHRM's Workforce Readiness Best Practices

  • Create communication and education plans for chapter and hold at least one chapter program to promote awareness and knowledge of the value and importance of workforce readiness programs.

  •  Partner with the regional Workforce Investment Board or similar agency to place new or re-entering workers into the workforce.

  •  Engage and partner with local, state or national workforce readiness organization, such as Junior Achievement, America’s Promise, etc., to complement and support the workforce readiness efforts in the community. Local support may include sponsoring or participating in community workforce readiness activities (e.g., job shadowing, mock interviews, speakers for schools, career counseling, etc.).

  •  Engage a local higher education institution, such as community college, technical school, college or university, to build/strengthen relationships between the business and education communities.

  •  Participate in a national or statewide workforce readiness initiative, such as Job Shadow Day, workforce readiness certification (e.g., WorkKeys) or Jobs for America’s Graduates. You will be asked to provide the name of the program in your description and your level of involvement.

  •  Coordinate a resume service or job bank for local members and employers


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