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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Public workforce investment systems and workforce investment boards [X]
The Texas Workforce Commission has developed the Detailed Work Activity (DWA) Common Language Project. The O*NET DWA library was the point of departure for the Texas common language initiative. A white paper that documents the underlying philosophies of the project can be found on the site. The document describes the various skills databases that have been developed, the talent management context within which this initiative was originated, and the many potential applications for the DWA data sets. It is written to describe the administrative processes thus far undertaken in Texas to bring a universal skill transferability system to fruition, and to stimulate further thinking about the role of skills in assessing the relationship between worker capabilities and employer hiring requirements.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has used O*NET skills data to create the Job Skills Currency Calculator. The calculator finds the estimated monetary value of a job skill in occupations. Skills are categorized into four useful groups that can aid in training and career planning and transitions. The four types of job skills used are: Knowledge Areas, General Work Activities, Detail Work Activities, and Tools & Technologies.
Using O*NET and mySkills myFuture in your Re-employment Campaign from Charlotte Works
Charlotte Works conducts a workshop for job seekers entitled “Using O*NET and mySkills myFuture in your Re-employment Campaign.” The workshop focuses on the O*NET Online Database demonstrating how job seekers can use the site to assist in resume development, career planning, utilization of interest and values assessments, and understanding occupations where they can use their transferable skills. Job seekers also use the partner web site, mySkills myFuture, with a focus on finding employment opportunities. Clients are always amazed to discover the usefulness of the O*NET Online Database for their re-employment campaign. O*NET data is also a primary source for training plan development and determining skills gaps.
Indiana Workforce Development is responding to dramatic shifts in the economy by helping workers transfer their skills from a declining occupation to one that is in economic demand. This workforce development agency uses the O*NET database as a primary tool for making multiple comparisons which identify where knowledges, skills, and abilities overlap or where gaps exist across occupations. When the Northern Indiana recreational vehicle industry declined, the skills of laid-off workers were compared with skills required to perform growth occupations in the region. Then community colleges in the area could develop curricula to train displaced workers in the skills that demand occupations require and that are currently lacking in the regional workforce. Skills that workers transferred from their former jobs paired with “gap skills” developed through new training prepared workers for jobs related to orthopedic products and medical devices manufacturing.
WorkSource in Florida is presenting O*NET Online resources to veterans in their Transitioning Assistance Program (TAP). Veterans are shown how to use O*NET information for identification of skills and resume development. The thorough understanding of occupational knowledges, skills, and abilities that veterans gain from O*NET OnLine custom reports improves their interview skills and helps them to overcome barriers to civilian employment.
The California County of Humboldt Employment Training Division uses O*NET occupational information to assist people with disabilities and those on public assistance. O*NET Career Exploration Tools help clients get a comprehensive picture of their fit with the world of work. Employers and potential employees are encouraged to consider the many facets of work other than basic skills. The training division presents classes to employees of social service branches, describing how to use O*NET OnLine to serve their clients.
Planning Your Career from Fairbanks Job Center
The Fairbanks Job Center in Fairbanks, Alaska offers a weekly workshop, Planning Your Career. The workshop draws young and old participants who explore careers by first taking the O*NET Interest Profiler and Work Importance Locator. The O*NET Ability Profiler is offered as well. The participants are given the O*NET Occupations Combined List to find occupations which match their results. They are shown how to use O*NET OnLine to explore occupations and select language for their resumes. Participants find that the O*NET Related Occupations and Tools and Technology features are very helpful. One client had acquired a computer science degree in the 1970s, with a minor in geology. He looked at O*NET Tools and Technology for geologists and discovered that the university had the courses and training he needed to work in the occupation. Building the required knowledge sets and skills while searching for a job in the appropriate O*NET occupations, he found a job as an entry level geologist.
Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation uses O*NET information for job matching, reemployment analysis, and business recruitment. O*NET data is embedded in FRED, the Florida Research and Economic Database. One key application is preparing labor supply studies for business recruitment. O*NET also plays a large role in Florida’s Reemployment LMI One-Stop Workshop. The workshop trains workforce development professionals to use the appropriate O*NET data sets and complementary tools for reemployment analysis: selecting the right tools, evaluating current skills, discovering transferable skills, studying related occupations, and finding growth industries. Workshop participants learn how to overlay pertinent local labor market information on the data from these dimensions of occupational information. The workshop enables staff members to help job seekers, employers, and workforce professionals to meet their respective challenges.
Washington State Employment Security Department offers a free Web site with Five Tools for Rapid Reemployment. It provides a comprehensive system for job searchers with three of the five tools linked to the O*NET database. Users can identify their specific job skills and match them to employers across a wide range of industries that use these basic skills. The site also allows users to identify O*NET occupational codes that are similar to their recent employment experiences. By comparing recent experiences with similar occupations, the user can identify and address skills gaps to make themselves more marketable.
The Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri was called on to provide data to attract a germanium wafer (a solar cell semiconductor component) manufacturer to Quapaw, Oklahoma. Oklahoma is part of a four-state WIRED region, so workforce data on all four states was analyzed, using EMSI’s labor market tool, Strategic Advantage. Strategic Advantage uses O*NET data to define the knowledges, skills, and abilities available to employers in a region. With this data, the WIB was able to clearly demonstrate the skills and availability of workers in the area. The manufacturer was convinced that the small town of Quapaw had the necessary workforce, resulting in a $51 million investment and 250 new jobs.
The Iowa Data Dissemination Bureau provides occupational publications and web reports for employers, job seekers, educators, and economic developers. The publications cover data such as the fastest growing jobs by educational achievement level, the top skill sets, high demand and high wage occupations, and education/training requirements. O*NET occupational skills data, by level of importance and education and training requirements, are used for these projects.
Alabama’s ACLMIS' Dislocated Worker System is a Web-based system providing assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs due to permanent layoffs or plant closings. Its skill survey questionnaire is based on O*NET data (abilities, knowledges, skills, and work activities). The system uses the O*NET occupational classification system for easy linkage to Alabama's labor market information. The ACLMIS System allows users to research occupations, analyze their skills to find suitable occupations, or find occupations similar to their current occupation.
California’s Labor Market Information Division (LMID) gathers, analyzes, and produces occupational information to inform people about California’s economy and to aid in labor-related decisions. In response to layoffs at Pillowtex (a large household textile manufacturer that closed plants employing 6,000 workers across eight states), California’s LMID created an instruction kit that incorporates parts of O*NET OnLine. Including the O*NET Find Occupations and Skills Search capabilities, this toolkit enables use of O*NET data and other resources to make dislocated workers aware of their current skills and suggests occupations that match these skills.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment uses O*NET occupational information in its LMI Gateway Web site. This comprehensive online resource for career exploration and job searching integrates the O*NET database into its Career Informer service. In addition, users may complete a skills inventory that matches their skills to O*NET occupations. Job seekers often find their skills set is broader than they previously realized and that their skills are transferable to related occupations, opening up their job search to more possibilities.
Profile of the Health Care Industry from Kansas Department of Labor
The Kansas Department of Labor used O*NET skills, knowledges, and abilities as a tool in their research for the report, Profile of the Health Care Industry. The report profiles the three health care industry sub-sectors and the occupations within these industries. The goal of the research was to assist workforce development planners and policy makers in decisions aimed at achieving desired turnover and retention rates and to develop necessary training programs.
The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board in Pennsylvania uses O*NET information in research and service delivery activities designed to support economic development efforts in the county. Using an industry clusters model, The Lancaster WIB cooperates closely with the economic development community. After the industry clusters are defined, the primary occupations are profiled and a Skills Map is developed. Information for all occupations and the various career ladders in the cluster are analyzed to identify common skills and attributes, as well as those unique to a particular occupation or career ladder. The resulting Skills Map is a helpful way to involve the educational community in addressing skills gaps, taking a systemic approach to the identification of industry’s skill needs. O*NET data are a key part of the Skills Map used to develop the profiles, providing extensive information about skills and knowledge requirements of occupations in each cluster.
Maryland’s Columbia Workforce Center uses O*NET OnLine as an important component of their Early Intervention Workshop. Recipients of unemployment insurance receive instruction on how to find jobs, research job and employer requirements, and successfully compete for open positions. O*NET OnLine helps these job seekers build resumes by identifying tasks they have mastered on previous jobs. They are also encouraged to use the information in O*NET OnLine to prepare for interviews by thoroughly understanding the requirements of the occupation for which they are interviewing. Another key feature of the workshop is introducing the participants to the O*NET Career Exploration Tools as aids to making career path decisions.
Career Readiness Certificate from Michigan’s West Coast WIRED Initiative
Michigan’s West Coast WIRED Initiative uses the Career Readiness Certificate, based on WorkKeys® and O*NET Job Zone information, as a means of linking worker readiness to jobs available in the local economy. WorkKeys, an online assessment linked to O*NET occupations, measures foundational skills of Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information. It assigns a score and grants a Career Readiness Certificate. The certificate is then related to jobs available in the local economy. The Career Readiness Certificate is being used in several other states as a part of state, regional, and local workforce development initiatives, including North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Mexico. Many others are in the process of implementing a Career Readiness Certificate program.
The Labor Market and Demographic Research arm of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development uses the O*NET database to support economic progress in their region. This office gathers data, creates models, and crunches numbers to support their labor and workforce development research. An example of the impact of this research is the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan. Fort Monmouth is an Army installation selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The Department of Defense estimated that the closure would cost the area 9,737 jobs. Research was done to determine the skills, abilities, education, and training those jobs required. In conjunction with Occupational Employment Statistics (OES), the O*NET database provided the ability to quantify how much of each of these characteristics were available in the local workforce. The research benefited from the inclusion of importance, frequency, and level information in the O*NET database, allowing weighting to be applied to the model. The research made it possible to understand the dimensions of the workforce in the Fort Monmouth area and inform planners regarding what industries and occupations to attract.
The Northern California Regional Competitiveness Network (NCRCN) analyzed data from U.S. Census Bureau nonemployer statistics for the Northern California WIRED Cluster study. This self-employment study identified occupations within clusters with career potential, high-mid-entry level wages, and small size occupations. Science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) occupations were of particular interest. A focus was placed on occupations that offer workers the opportunity for upward mobility and lateral transfer among industries. The study used O*NET data concerning key characteristics of each occupation, including the description, wages, educational requirements, skills, knowledges, abilities, and work activities. The study provided a data-driven foundation for the economic and workforce development programs of the Northern California WIRED project and focused talent development on occupations that show job and wage growth.