Work Skills in High Demand: "Equipped For the Future" Means No More Princess
Who Judges Adult Skills and Accomplishments?
Exact abilities and accomplishments to be required of 21-year-olds in America are difficult to standardize, since individual differences interfere with a concrete point-value standard.
Ranges of accomplishments and abilities may be more appropriate, but who decides on them?
Under the Clinton Administration and Welfare Reform, the federal government decided. The decisions were incorporated into a mandated Education and Training program coast-to-coast called Equipped For the Future (EFF).
EFF standards became the yardstick by which to measure individuals for readiness to work and to continue to qualify for Public Assistance cash, Medicaid, and food stamp help. Recipients of nearly any type of help had to be working part-time for a minimum number of hours per week determined by the state and county or enrolled in classes in incorporated EFF standards and job search skills.
The rubric was further applied to Workers Compensation, SSI/SSDI, Unemployment Payments, VA disability, and other payments like stipends in Welfare To Work Programs. If anyone receiving benefits failed to have these EFF skills or failed to attend classes to develop these skills, then they could be cut off from payments.
EFF determined to make all US residents into high quality parents, family members, national citizens, community members, and workers.
What is an Adult Human? What skills does one need?
How to Live?
I thought it difficult and rather invasive to "tell adults how to live", as some clients put it. The best application of EFF standards might be to high school graduation requirements.
For example, Ohio has used a 9th grade exam and currently, a 10th grade achievement test as a Graduation Test that must be passed before the end of the 12th grade. We in Ohio hope for progress into a 12th Grade Graduation Test.
EFF standards might be incorporated into a Graduation Portfolio, along with a resume and a set of work samples for use in applying to colleges, vocational schools, the military, and jobs.
How Tough Is the Standard?
The Masai used to have one standard for adult achievement in men: at age 13, a boy would kill or bring at least part of a lion's body back to his village successfully. Then he was a man.
What Are Important Accomplishments For An Adult?
A larger number than expected of voices across the Internet state that a 21-year-old woman should have a steady boyfriend. That is a surprise to many of us.
That insistence upon having a significant other might be insulting to a number of women and it certainly riles survivors like Katniss Everdeen at times. It is certainly an insult to non-heterosexuals and regardless, who is qualified to tell anyone that he or she should be in a relationship? Does it help one gain gainful employment, which is likely much more needed?
In the 2010s, a portion of society continues to feel that women should be only looking for man and not a job or a life of her own. This feeling was exposed and exemplified by the furor over the temporarily overly feminized version of Princess Merida (of the animated Brave) that Disney offered to the public very short-term. Masses of people were outraged at the girly-girl doll.
The Welfare Reform legislation under Bill Clinton went a little too far, perhaps, in the opposite direction from marrying women off.
The Clinton Era congressional legislation required definite workplace instruction, beginning in public school Kindergarten, including a focus on the fact that generally, everyone in America must work at a job - all men and all women - and everyone must avoid welfare and other public assistance payments. There was to be no room for princesses.
The "All Must Work" Mandate
During the summer of 1998, the work mandate began to become flimsy --
Summer Work Programs for teens were eliminated when the umbrella Job Training Partnership Act expired and those funds ended. A few small work programs lasted until 2000, but most of these programs became extinct, especially the larger programs like Columbus, Ohio that served several thousand youth yearly for decades.
During the Recession of 2008 - 2009 or 2010, the mandate to work did not work for the country at all. In fact, Unemployment Compensation payments were up-funded and extended further than ever before and many more people received food stamps. It would be great if America had enough jobs for everyone - and in both June 2013 and June 2014, Internet total listings showed over 7.5 million openings, the highest number since 2007. The number is still about half of what we need of we force everyone to work who is able to work.
Traditional Kabuki Dance Performed by Geishas.
Future High Demand Jobs
During a recruitment outreach in 2013, approximately 100,000 people around the world volunteered to go to Mars and settle there, never to return.
That is extreme job searching, but the Aerospace Industry and related industries are adding jobs in many different US Cities, a dozen of which have active Spaceport Authorities. A large sector of the workplace is moving into the atmosphere and might be aided by the requirements of EFF, if they were enforced.
In 2014, the US Space Shuttle was replaced by the SpaceX DragonV2, Virgin Galactic received permissions to launch space tourists in January 2015 from Arizona's Spaceport (one of a dozen), and Planetary Resources and other companies secured asteroid mining contracts. This is not to mention the Aerospace Commercial Crew of over 60 companies and the Google Moon Landers that were ready in January 2013. EFF standards may need updating for a new space age.
Below, you will find the EFF standards and you can determine what you think of them. I don't see having a boyfriend on the list.
First All-Female C-130 Combat Mission in 2005
Women In the Air and Space
The six combat women in the above photo surely have surpassed all 16 area requirements of the EFF Standards. The EFF rubric/program is not as widely used as it once was, especially during the Welfare Reform years of the Clinton Administration, and it may be outdated.
Which group might have more & better skills?
Does EFF Create Robots?
Practical Work Skills Employers Want In Employees
When the EFF standards were first unfolded to the public, many people felt that requirements were too invasive and too unreasonable. Moreover, many opinions were that the list left no room for individuality and demanded robot-like compliance behavior. Still others voiced the thought that the standards were too low or off target in a practical sense.
The basic skills required of an adult in the EFF model are divided into 4 Categories and 16 Areas, as seen on the Skills Wheel below.
The 16 different areas of skills are divided between Communication, Decision-Making, Interpersonal Skills, and Lifelong Learning. If you visit the EFF Link below, you can find more details about what is required to be proficient in each of the 16 areas of EFF.
The overall EFF plan is referred to as a literacy program, including not only reading and math literacy, but also literacy in all of the 16 areas.
When I worked during 1995 - 2005 using this program, the major areas we saw that needed the most training were 1) writing and speaking so that one can be understood, and 2) using critical thinking. This occurred in a metropolitan area of a million people in a Midwestern state.