Wednesday, January 12, 2005

National Report Cites Need for Writing Skills in Business

Writing: A Ticket to Work … Or a Ticket Out, A Survey of Business Leaders: A Report of the National Commission on Writing for America’s Families, Schools, and Colleges (College Board, September 2004)

A high-profile survey of 120 major American corporations employing nearly 8 million people concludes that in today’s workplace writing is a “threshold skill” for hiring and promotion among professional employees. Survey results indicate that writing is a ticket to professional opportunity, while poorly written job applications are a figurative kiss of death. Estimates based on the survey returns reveal that employers spend billions annually correcting writing deficiencies.

Among the survey findings:

  • Half the responding companies report that they consider writing skills when hiring and promoting professional employees.
  • Two-thirds of salaried employees in large American companies have some writing responsibility.
  • Eighty percent or more of the companies in service sectors, the corporations with the greatest employment-growth potential, assess writing during hiring.
  • Half of all companies take writing into account when making promotion decisions.
  • More than half of all responding companies report that they “frequently” or “almost always” produce technical reports, formal reports, and memos and correspondence. Communication through e-mail and PowerPoint presentations is almost universal.
  • More than 40 percent of responding firms offer or require training for salaried employees with writing deficiencies.
  • Remedying deficiencies in writing may cost American firms as much as $3.1 billion annually.
Your executive, professional, technical, and support staff can learn to:
  • write purposefully in time-sensitive situations
  • enhance client focus by writing consultatively
  • organize complex material effectively
  • edit documents for completeness, clarity, concisesness, and correctness
The writing courses offered by Philip Vassallo, Ed.D. address the reality that writing is a “threshold skill” for both employment and promotion. Dr. Vassallo designs each writing course to cultivate professional writing skills regardless the proficiency level and writing responsibilities of the employee. Contact Dr. Vassallo at for more information.

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