Work Ethic: The Building Blocks for the 21st Century Workforce

Keynote: 9:00 AM-10:10 AM, Multi-Purpose Room


With the rapid change taking place in every sector of the workforce, a set of skills has emerged as the building blocks for the future. Sometimes called soft skills or career readiness, employers simply call them Work Ethic. Nearly 9 out of 10 hiring managers nationwide say work ethic is their most important factor in hiring. In the classroom, students with high work ethic have significant improvements in performance and graduate college at nearly double the average rate. The challenge is that fewer than 1 in 5 people have these skills, and almost all education is instead focused on academic and technical skills. While many believe that you can’t teach “common sense”, new research is showing that these skills can be developed at any age. This engaging and interactive presentation highlights simple training and leadership approaches that everyone can use to develop work ethic. While in the past we have hoped to develop these skills through projects and group work, we need to make the learning of them as intentional as the rest of our teaching. By using employer-based research, defining the seven skills of work ethic, and applying innovative teaching methodology, you will discover how to make lasting behavior change. Discover how you can build the foundational skills of work ethic and prepare your students with the skills for the 21st Century!


Josh Davies

The Center for Work Ethic Development

Type of Presentation




Program Standards

  • Adult Basic Education
  • Adult Secondary Education
  • Career Technical Education
  • English as a Second Language

Category Standards

  • Blended/Online Learning
  • Distance Learning
  • Program Administration and Coordination
  • Technology Integration in the Classroom