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'Skills to Pay the Bills' Videos Help Young People Prepare for Employment

October 29, 2012

News source: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has developed a series of free video vignettes as part of its "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success" curriculum.

Youth services programs, educators and others helping young job seekers prepare for employment are encouraged to view, display, share and lead discussions about the videos, which aim to help all youth, including those with disabilities, develop and strengthen six essential skills needed to succeed in today's workforce: communication, networking, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Although employers have identified these skills as being among the most important competencies young workers need, three-quarters of those participating in a survey by the Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the Society for Human Resource Management ranked new high school graduates as deficient in soft skill areas. The videos explain what soft skills are, why they matter, and what young workers and job seekers can do to improve them.

"Acquiring these critical skills can help youth, including youth with disabilities, become valuable assets to their future employers regardless of the career path they ultimately choose," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.

The launch of the video series coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual observance to raise awareness about disability employment issues as well as to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"

To learn more about NDEAM activities, visit To download fact sheets and activities from ODEP's Soft Skills curriculum, visit

View ODEP's Skills to Pay the Bills Videos Series at

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