In a tight employment market “I think the first thing is really being more open to hiring someone who struggles with literacy,” says Kristy Frans with the Council of Churches. “Just because they struggle with reading doesn’t mean they’re not going to be a great employee.” A 2016 Missouri Career Center Study showed about 27% of job applicants were reading below a sixth grade level. Frans highlights programs to assist your current employees and future workforce with literacy. Ask the Experts is a monthly series in cooperation with Springfield Business Journal. This is sponsored content.
- Today, we're talking about business and I really want to talk about how workforce development can be affected by literacy in our area and what are some of the things that you've seen.
- Yes, so in 2016, there was a study done by the Missouri Career Center which showed that about 27% of those who came through there were reading below a sixth grade reading level.
- Oh my goodness.
- Yeah, so that's a high percentage. How we see that work whenever someone is going to apply for a position, that is looking for a position, the job application process alone can be daunting.
- And now, with application processes moving online, that's just an extra added barrier, because, think about it, you go online, you're trying to find where the job application is in the first place, it's difficult to find.
- And then going beyond that, it's a struggle for those who are low literate.
- Whenever you add on another barrier, that's just another thing that gets in the way of those who are looking for employment and those who are looking to fill their open positions.
- Right, and with the tight workforce that we're in right now, you really have to stop and think about, just because someone may be low literacy doesn't mean that they're going to be a bad worker. They may be a great worker.
- They may be one of the most energetic workers that you have--
- Because they want that opportunity so badly. What are some ways that a business can help someone that may be on that lower literacy but might be a great employee?
- I think the first thing is really being more open to hiring someone who struggles with literacy because, just like you said, just because they struggle with reading doesn't mean they're not going to be a great employee. And I think, also, supporting programs that deal with literacy issues, there are adult literacy programs and there are also literacy programs that start with younger children and trying to prevent the issues in the future.
- The future workforce development.
- Investing in those programs, I think, is really important.
- That is amazing.
- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
The artists of Fresh Gallery get creative to find a new home to display their works.
K. Patrick Douglas, attorney and partner with Douglas, Haun & Heidemann PC, says a healthy work life balance is difficult, but critical. He says you have to decide what you aren’t willing to give …
Cynthia Black, attorney with Cynthia R. Black, Attorney at Law, LLC, says everyone has their own specific talent. She talks about how one client’s bravery helped bring down a sex trafficking ring. …
Tim Potthoff, project manager with Nabholz, says technology has made an amazing difference in their industry. He says using augmented reality in the design phase has huge cost benefits to project …
Life coach Ann Leach says using a tool from the organization development movement can help with employee engagement and learning. She says we think in pictures, so a graphic representation helps …
Jason, John and Jeremy Chapman, owners of The Acoustic Shoppe, say they have always sought ways to continue growth, first as a band, now as a business. Updating music lessons to include online access …
Steve Kelly, senior vice president with Arvest Bank, started a real estate brokerage during the 2007 recession. His business closed and Kelly returned to banking. He says the experience helps him …
Jamie Tillman, owner of Canna Bliss says it’s more difficult to advertise CBD products than others because some social media ban ads with images of the plants. She says she’s relied on media …
Abe McGull, assistant U.S. Attorney, says you must be adaptable because life’s one constant is change. McGull says transitions are much easier if you don’t fight the change. Duration: 1:18
Chelsey Bode, President of Pearson Kelly Technology says low rural bandwidth has hampered remote work for some employees during the pandemic. She says a lighter workload on office equipment allowed …
Though remote work has been a recent trend, Rusty Worley, executive director of the Downtown Springfield Association, says his team emphasizes the value in working together in an office. He says they …