August 22, 2014

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2.7 million working-age Ohioans report difficulties with technology in workplace
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Friday, February 28, 2014 3:43 PM

COLUMBUS – According to Connect Ohio’s recently published report, Training Ohio’s Workforce—Bringing Digital Skills to the Workplace, more than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults say they would have difficulty completing computer-related tasks required by most employers, while two-thirds of Ohio businesses (67%) use broadband and need employees who can use it effectively.

Nationally, 70% of businesses consider it “important” or “very important” for employees to have some Internet skills. Many Ohio adults lack the digital skills that employers are seeking — one in eight Ohio households that do not subscribe to broadband cite a lack of digital literacy skills as a main reason for not subscribing.

“In Columbus, we don’t have a problem creating jobs. We have a problem filling jobs,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “We must train our people to give them skills that will allow them to participate in our economic success.”

Of the 7.2 million Ohio adults below retirement age, 38% say they would have difficulty completing at least one of the following tasks:

Creating or editing a spreadsheet (33%)

Going online using a mobile device (14%)

Using word processing software (13%)

Sending or receiving an e-mail (7%) without assistance.

That represents more than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults who would have difficulty in performing at least one of these tasks.

“Providing Ohioans with basic digital literacy training and connecting them to the Internet delivers the opportunity needed to bridge the ‘digital divide’ and allows for Ohioans to compete on a national and global level,” said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio. “Technical skills in the workplace have already become a requirement and the trend towards a virtual workplace has taken off and will only continue to grow. The proper technical skills can provide anyone, regardless of location, a wealth of endless career opportunities.”

Additional key findings from this report include:

Nationally, 70% of businesses consider it “important” or “very important” for employees to have some Internet related skills, yet 40% report that they have a difficult time finding employees with the necessary technical skills.

Many Ohio adults lack the digital skills that employers are seeking — one in eight Ohio households that do not subscribe to broadband cite a lack of digital literacy skills as their main reasons for not subscribing.

More than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults would have difficulty completing computer-related tasks that many employers require.

One in three working-age Ohio adults (33% of adults age 18-64) say it would be “difficult” or “very difficult” for them to use a computer to create or edit a spreadsheet without assistance from someone else.