Charles Koch Institute joins America Succeeds’ Durable Skills Initiative

July 1, 2021

Charles Koch Institute recently joined America Succeeds’ Durable Skills Initiative alongside organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Society for Human Resource Managers, Associated Builders and Contractors, and CompTIA to support efforts to elevate soft skills development in preparing students for the future.  

“Education is not about memorizing facts and figures,” says Derek Johnson, executive director of Charles Koch Institute. “We need to focus on students discovering their unique talents and applying what they’ve learned. Developing Durable Skills are essential for contributing and finding meaning in work.”   

In a workforce where technical skill demands continue to rapidly evolve, Durable Skills are a constant. As defined by America Succeeds’ research, Durable Skills are a combination of how you use what you know — skills like critical thinking, communication, and collaboration — and character skills. These skills are not only in-demand across regions, industry sectors, and job functions, but relevant in every stage of a career.  

“The need for inclusive, soft skills-based education and hiring was apparent long before the pandemic but COVID-19 has greatly accelerated existing trends,” said Tim Taylor, co-founder and president of America Succeeds. “We launched this unique research initiative to start a national conversation around Durable Skills, so that schools and communities understand the importance of educating for these skills and corporate leaders recognize the urgent need to partner with education systems to solve their workforce challenges.” 

Leveraging data from more than 82 million job postings, America Succeeds recently released an analysis of the demand for Durable Skills over the past two years. Key findings include:  

  • 7 of the 10 most in-demand skills across all postings were Durable Skills.  
  • Durable Skills were demanded in over 50 million job ads, nearly two-thirds of those studied.
  • The top five Durable Skills are requested nearly four (3.8) times more than the top five hard skills.
  • Leadership and communication competencies are in the highest demand, requested by 50+ percent of postings. 

Learn more about America Succeeds.  

The Charles Koch Institute inspires and invests in social entrepreneurs developing solutions to America’s most pressing problems. Read more about our support for social entrepreneurs committed to education.