In the premier issue of Canadian CEO, Alan C. Middleton, Schulich School of Business, York University stated, “making sure employees have the requisite workplace literacy skills has become an economic imperative to address the challenges facing corporate Canada today.”
The Centre has received funding from Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Office of Literacy and Essential Skills to explore how family literacy concepts can enhance literacy and essential skills programs in the workplace.
The Workplace Family Literacy Project will research a range of options for improving the level of literacy and essential skills of employees through a family based approach. The project will produce resources and tools to assist literacy organizations and businesses in implementation of these programs in the workplace.
The first phase of the project is an environmental scan of the business and literacy communities across Alberta. The scan will ascertain the level of awareness of the effect of literacy on the economy, the types of workplace literacy programs currently being used, and the types of partnerships that exist between business and literacy organizations.
Family literacy is an innovative and comprehensive response to literacy issues as it addresses the literacy needs of adults, as well as the literacy development of their children. Through this intergenerational connection, family literacy programs improve the literacy skills of adults who comprise our current workforce and their children who represent our future workforce.
Knowing that there is a direct link between Canada’s future economic prosperity and the literacy levels of its workforce, it is important that we develop strategies that produce results for the short and long term.