upon millions of business profits are wasted
each year due to staff being unable to
on the job. Often this is due to an employee
not being trained in how to learn.
when training programs fail to correctly communicate,
present the materials, and deal with the learning
deficiencies it often becomes a losing battle.
Instead of only focusing on feeding information,
problems go unresolved only to return when the
next group cycles through for training.
Tutoring also provides literacy programs for
businesses of all types and sizes. Contact
us for an evaluation of your specific
company's literacy and training needs and get
your people up to speed faster and more effectively
than you ever thought possible.
- Employee Archive 2003
and subsidiary literacy program implementation
Dear Tracy Sherwood,
I am happy to report that our employee production,
retention, rate of promotion and training effectiveness
have all statistically risen sharply along with
quarterly gross income since implementation of
our external employee literacy program. Following
your suggestion, we have found it to be more cost
effective and less problematic to increase the
literacy levels of our dedicated employees than
to hire new employees who are literacy qualified
but lacking experience in our company's procedures
We are interested in implementing your program
into our California regions as soon as possible.
We will be securing external facilities to maintain
employee confidentiality and would like to know
if you will be able to provide literacy instructors
trained in the program we have found so successful
in the past. Below are the cities and regions we
of the greatest priority due to the various job
training enhancement programs we provide to our
San Fernando Valley
City of Industry
Also, I am pasting a reference to employee literacy
that I found on the Internet. I found this of particular
interest due to its many statistics and references
of common employee concerns.
HR - IMB Industries
Susan C. Keating
President and CEO, Allfirst Financial, Inc. and
Literacy Speech 2001
Good morning. I'm pleased to be here and to be
part of this important discussion on literacy.
It's clear to me that business needs to take an
active role in improving literacy because we are
significant stakeholders in this issue. You asked
me to give you my perspective on several aspects
pertaining to literacy including the impact on
business and industry, current barriers, the return
on investment when skills are upgraded, incentives,
and the role of the business community. I am pleased
to share my thoughts on all of these.
First, the impact on business and industry. To
remain competitive, employers need workers who
can read, write, compute, solve problems, and communicate
well...at a minimum. Beyond that we need technical
experts, management and leadership talent,.....PAUSE....We
need experienced people more than ever before.
I know I'm singing to the choir but in Maryland,
21% of adults over 18 do not have a high school
diploma. Statewide, 20% of the adult population
performs at or below a 5th grade skill level. Even
more worrisome, 85% who need basic literacy services
are not receiving literacy instruction in Maryland.
Nationally, more than 60% of front line workers
in goods-producing businesses have difficulty applying
information from a text to a required task. What
does that statistic say about the effectiveness
of our safety manuals?
As a former English teacher who ended up running
a bank, of all things, I'm really clear on the
power of education. However, after 25 years in
business, I see literacy through a slightly different
lens than I did before. I see clearly the possibility
for jobs, for incomes, for independence. Just think
of the degree of financial freedom that exists
for workers with a bachelor's degree whose mean
monthly income of $1,829 is 4 times that of the
$452 dollar average / earned by those who lack
a high school diploma.
As you know, education is life-long. It has to
be. Think about the rapidly changing world, technology,
the information age...I don't know about you, but
it takes more work and more commitment than ever
to just "stay even".
In other words, even as we sit, the "learning
bar" is being raised.
Allfirst Financial is the largest headquartered
bank in MD, we're a $19 billion dollar diversified
financial services company offering a full range
of services - banking (from trade finance for customers
doing business overseas, to working capital for
the local dry cleaners to senior citizens anxious
to visit our branches, to students who prefer and
use the internet), to trust, investment and insurance
to retail, business and commercial customers. We
do business in Pennsylvania, northern Virginia,
Washington, D.C., and Delaware and employee close
to 6000 people. Our business is a people business
driven by the one million customers we serve. It
really is a complex business requiring workers
with a range of skills, relating to a range of
clients. As you can imagine, it is critical for
us to be able to attract and retain knowledgeable
and talented people.
And as I referenced earlier, I believe that CEOs
throughout this country face similar challenges.
The shortage of well-trained and educated people
Let's look again at the facts:
- 16% of adults over 18 do not have a high school
- 20% of our adult population performs at or
below a 5th grade level; and
- 85% of those needing basic literacy instruction
in Maryland are not receiving it.
In other words, a whole potential employee segment
is disadvantaged or is being left out completely.
Our goal needs to be about engaging these individuals
and working to make more people in our society
employable and productive. That means increasing
effectiveness in addressing academic failure, dropout
rates, the language and educational barriers associated
with increasing immigration, learning disabilities
and generational cycles of poverty.
But there are barriers. And from the perspective
of businesses, perhaps the most significant barrier
we face is identifying literacy issues in our employees.
Our managers are trained to identify drug and alcohol
problems but not literacy problems. And to compound
the issue, people with literacy issues do a good
job of hiding their inability. The stigma of not
being able to read or compute something is great
and the coping skills are well developed. Identifying
literacy problems is a significant barrier to fixing
the problem in the work place.
With regard to return on investment for employers
when skills are upgraded, the obvious ones include
increased productivity, less downtime, and fewer
problems that need to be fixed. But one that's
not quite as obvious is savings on recruiting costs.
Research shows that employees are more satisfied-and
therefore more likely to stay with an employer-when
they are able to continue building their skills.
Helping employees improve their language and literacy
skills helps enhance the likelihood they will stay
with the company thus saving on ever increasing
recruiting and new hire training expenses.
Incentives...it goes without saying that a business
appreciates them. Tax credits are always a way
to get the attention of CFOs. Tax credits also
create awareness of the literacy issue with an
audience beyond a company's human resource area.
Creating awareness needs to be a key initiative
of whatever we do if we want to garner financial
Finally, I'd like to speak to the things the business
community can do to help address the literacy problem.
- Educate our employees about the importance
of literacy. We must let everyone know we want
or her to be fully literate. And for those
that aren't we want them to feel safe in asking
receiving the literacy training they need.
We understand that maintaining dignity and confidentially
be critical to our success. The key message
to employees is that improving literacy enhances
safety and well being of our colleagues, our
customers and our communities.
- Conduct confidential needs assessments of our
employees and offer opportunities in the workplace
to improve literacy. We at Allfirst are offering
English as a second language classes on site.
This is in addition to the many other internal
training programs available to our colleagues.
We spend several million dollars in training
and development each year and feel it is one
- Commit to giving all employees the opportunity
to attain basic literacy levels. It can happen
by direct referral to community programs, company
sponsored self-paced instruction and tuition
reimbursement for GEDs. And it must happen in
a way that protects
the confidentiality of that employee.
- Support efforts to increase state spending
on adult education. As many of you know, 66%
United States has an adult population with
higher literacy skills than Maryland and there
states that make a larger investment than Maryland
in adult education. We have to fix this!
- Support early childhood education initiatives
that help prepare our youngsters under the
age of five for success when they enter school.
shows that primary brain development occurs
before the age of five. Not only do we need to
literacy problem, we have to prevent future
- Donate space, computers, software and other
learning materials to literacy programs.
- Provide financial support for literacy programs
not only making programs more widely available,
but helping to fund development of higher quality
- Recruit volunteers from within our organizations
to help in a variety of areas. Our employees
can help teach literacy skills. And believe it
beyond computing skills our bankers can help
with marketing, research measurement systems,
course, managing budgets!
While there have been a number of promising developments
in literacy in recent years, there is clearly more
work to be done in Maryland and across the country.
As educators, government officials, business and
labor leaders, we are all stakeholders in this
issue and we must be part of the solution. It's
up to everyone in this room to find ways to work
together in implementing this agenda-to bring many
of the recommendations heard today into the mainstream.
At Allfirst, we believe in people. We believe in "investing
in human potential." In fact, investing in
human potential is a major element of the Allfirst
brand vision, well understood by the people in