NORTH GEORGIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, (WDEF)- We take it for granted that everyone starting or wanting a job has good punctuality, presentation and work environment skills but not everyone is a natural.
Recent studies have shown that 81% of employers will now pick employees with soft skills over those with technical ones.
Mark Butler, Georgia's Labor Commissioner,"Are not being taught by some of the parents in the home and with the changing technology, how we communicate to one another has altered, lot of people don't call or talk in person anymore a lot of times its just texting, you've a change in communication"
Butler and Dalton economic and education experts have been expanding a pilot program over the past 18 months called SWAT, Special Workforce Assistance Team to help prepare Georgia high schoolers for a full work day.
At Southern Adventist University they have been running a similar program for more than ten years which they say prepares their students for life outside of a classroom.
"For different fields you are dressing different ways for different interviews you need to know that you need to research the company there is so many things, from little things to making sure there's nothing in your teeth to making sure your breath doesn't smell"
Public Relations senior Shana Michalek says their soft skills classes are available to students from business, media and medical backgrounds.
Dean of Journalism Greg Rumsey says these specific classes taught by academic Lorraine Ball are often the key to getting a job when a student's diploma is not enough.
"Build a portfolio learn and how to go out and present themselves, how to negotiate for salary, how to write thank you notes when they are finished with an interview"
Employers we spoke to added that applicants now often struggle to say please and thank you or even look them in the eye.
Commissioner Butler says they will he will be bringing these soft skills programs to over 200 middle and high schools in Georgia in the coming months in an effort to combat unemployment.http://www.dol.state.ga.us/contact_swat.htmhttp://www1.southern.edu/