Press Release

CASEL Releases New Report on Preparing Youth for the Workforce of Tomorrow

June 29, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Today, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) released a new report titled, Preparing Youth for the Workforce of Tomorrow: Cultivating the Social and Emotional Skills Employers Demand. The findings of the report show that social and emotional skills developed in PreK-12 schools align with the skills employers are seeking in the workforce.

For the report, CASEL and Civic analyzed employer surveys to identify skills that are sought after, but difficult to find in the current workforce. Employers frequently named communication and interpersonal skills, self-management skills, the ability to collaborate or work in teams, problem-solving skills, and integrity or the ability to make ethical decisions as the most in demand. These underlying skills and attitudes align with CASEL’s five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

These findings indicate that understanding the core social and emotional skills students and adults need, developmentally and in the multiple environments in which they live, is a high priority, requiring clear and concise language across the contexts and environments. In future reports, CASEL will identify policies and practices that state and local leaders can engage in to support development of these skills, including partnering with national and local businesses to create an integrative education-to-work pipeline that deeply embeds SEL into classrooms, as well as workforce development to prepare future-ready students. CASEL believes this strengthened approach will equip employers and younger workers alike to adapt rapidly to new and changing employment environments.

“This new report adds to the growing body of work that confirms social and emotional skills are necessary to the teamwork, communication, and problem-solving that modern workplaces demand. By embedding high-quality, systemic SEL into our schools, we are laying the foundation for our students to be future-ready and thrive in the economy of tomorrow,” said CASEL President & CEO Karen Niemi.

This report is part of a new project under CASEL’s Collaborating States Initiative (CSI) titled Bridging Hope and Opportunity: Education to Workforce Pathways through SEL and Skills for the Future. The project builds on the efforts of the CSI’s work with more than 38 states, which elevates high-quality, evidence-based SEL practices to be implemented in districts and schools.

This report is the most recent piece of field-advancing work to emerge from the CSI, connecting policy, practices and research. This collection of work provides context in understanding the significant trend of SEL implementation among a growing community of states that collectively reach millions of students nationwide:

CASEL will be sharing examples of how states are beginning to advance the connection between SEL and workforce development, as well as initial recommendations, in forthcoming briefs.

SEL is the process through which children and adults understand and manage
emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.CASEL is the nonprofit that founded the field of social and emotional learning (SEL). Today, it collaborates with leading experts and districts, schools, and states nationwide to drive research, guide practice, and inform policy.
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