O*NET® Products at Work
The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration introduced the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to the public in 1998. Since that time, its impact on workforce development, career counseling, educational programming and human resource activities has quickly expanded, both in the U.S. and around the world. O*NET Products at Work provides examples of the widespread use of O*NET OnLine, the O*NET database, the Toolkit for Business, and the O*NET Career Exploration Tools.
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Download a list of books, research papers, and websites referencing O*NET products and tools:
O*NET Reference List (XLSX - 118 KB)
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) used O*NET information as presented in the Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) Career Pathways tool to evaluate workforce competencies in northeastern Mississippi. Rebecca Houchin, TVA Research Manager, describes how Career Pathways was able to show that competencies of workers in the declining furniture industry in northeastern Mississippi were 98% compatible with the needs of the auto industry. As a result, a Toyota plant was brought to northeastern Mississippi, providing employment to displaced workers.
The West Virginia Rehabilitation Center used O*NET Online to help clients with career exploration. Many clients are students (ages 15-23) who are transitioning from school to work. Students used the Web-based tool to search on keywords related to occupational interests. Because students often have incomplete information about occupations, the data in O*NET OnLine filled out their perspective about the skills and training required for an occupation and provided links to wages and employment outlooks. Adults with disabilities also used O*NET information to transition to jobs using related skills. A firefighter who had been seriously injured on the job discovered through O*NET OnLine that he had skills similar to insurance adjustors. He found a job with an insurance firm that needed adjustors to investigate fire-related claims.
Strategic Workforce Assessment Project (SWAP) from The Texas Labor Market and Career Information Department (LMCI)
The Texas Labor Market and Career Information Department (LMCI) has infused all of its occupational information products with the O*NET database. One application is the Strategic Workforce Assessment Project (SWAP). SWAP uses the O*NET Detailed Work Activities (DWA) database as a proxy for occupational skill sets in the effort to identify the critical workforce needs of the state’s industry cluster initiative. LMCI staff performed an extensive analysis of how DWAs could be used as a foundation for an Internet application that automates a process of analyzing industry clusters, creating custom cluster staffing patterns, and building occupational skill sets. Related efforts include the assignment of DWAs to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) and the regionalization of the O*NET DWA statements to match Texas employer hiring requirements. The goal is for Texas economic development programs to identify key industry clusters in their regions, to know the critical occupations for those clusters, and then to identify specific work activities that regional education and training systems must provide. SWAP’s goal is to connect education and the economy through an integrated data system. O*NET data provided a solid foundation on which to base this project.
Designed by the State Department of Labor, the New York CareerZone Web site is an O*NET delivery system that has revolutionized the way New Yorkers access career information. The NYCareerZone system is now a statewide resource for teachers, counselors, and career center staff. The system engages students and job seekers in career exploration and helps them develop their skills in career planning. Users build electronic portfolios linked to state learning objectives and O*NET-SOC occupational information. NYCareerZone developers incorporated the O*NET Interest Profiler and Skills Search capabilities into the portfolios to help students identify their interests and relate these interests to appropriate career possibilities. Using job profiles drawn from the O*NET database, students can explore specific occupations. The profiles include state-specific wage and outlook information related to the O*NET-SOC occupations and include a link to a state college database.
Projecting the Impact of Computers on Work in 2030 from The National Research Council Center for Education
At the Workshop on Research Evidence Related to Future Skill Demands, the National Research Council Center for Education presented a paper, Projecting the Impact of Computers on Work in 2030 (Elliott, 2007). This paper describes an approach to projecting new workplace skill demands based on increased use of computers in the decades to come. An analysis of the impact of comp uter technology on future skills used the O*NET database to provide definitions, anchoring tasks for ability levels, and occupational ratings for the set of human abilities that are broadly relevant to work. The 21 results of the analysis suggested that a serious and sustained effort is needed to project and prepare the American workforce for the extensive changes that are likely to occur as computers continue to displace human activity in the workplace.