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A report prepared for two Congressional caucuses and released last week suggests that disadvantaged high-school students with little or no work history should be issued "employability credentials" by their schools.

The proposed diploma-like document would serve as a benchmark for employers "to measure attainment of employment-related compe-tencies, much as the diploma or the ged certificate are designed to measure educational competencies," according to the report by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the nonpartisan research arm of the House and Senate Northeast-Midwest Coalitions.

According to the institute, the report was intended to help the Congress shape a legislative agenda to address problems faced by young and displaced workers in the region commonly known as the Frost Belt. It was developed following a series of hearings last year in Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Lansing, Mich.; Minneapolis; New York City; and Philadelphia.

The report also proposes:

Federal support for a new program that would give summer jobs to teachers with local businesses. The purpose of the program would be to enhance teachers' familiarity with local labor-market needs.

Greater emphasis on school-to-work transition programs intended to increase the employability of those students least likely to make the transition easily.

The expansion of educational components in summer youth-employment programs in order to increase participants' retention of knowledge over the course of the summer.

Copies of the report, "Shaping the Work Force of the Future: An Agenda for Change," can be obtained for $7.50 plus $2 for postage from the Northeast-Midwest Institute, Publications Office, 218 D St. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Vol. 04, Issue 02

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