SOURCE: American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)

December 20, 2006 19:34 ET

Developing Employees' Skills Is Critical in the Knowledge Economy

ASTD Encouraged Organizations to Recognize the Value of Learning during Employee Learning Week

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 20, 2006 -- In today's business climate, organizations are constantly seeking ways to grow and remain competitive. Efforts to develop the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of each employee to maximize the organization's impact are accelerating, according to the American Society for Training & Development's (ASTD) forthcoming 2006 "State of the Industry" Report. Through this research, ASTD estimates that organizations spend $109.25 billion for employee learning and development. Winning organizations in ASTD's "BEST" Awards invest an average of $1,616 annually per employee for learning and development.

"Business leaders continue to invest in developing employees because they understand that their most important asset in the knowledge economy is talent," says Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. "Increasingly, they know that having a skilled workforce is the key to growing and achieving results in today's competitive business environment."

During December 4-8, ASTD invited all organizations to recognize Employee Learning Week, and use the week to demonstrate the connection between learning and business results and to close the gaps between employees' skills and what is required for today's jobs. During Employee Learning Week, ASTD chapters and member organizations across the U.S. showcased their training and development efforts.

ASTD's research shows that organizations' investments in employee learning continue to increase steadily, and they are using technology more than ever before to deliver learning to the workforce. ASTD's 2006 "State of the Industry" Report -- to be released in January -- details the learning investments and practices of large, private and public sector organizations and ASTD BEST Award winners.

More information about ASTD and Employee Learning Week may be found at www.astd.org.

About ASTD

ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world's largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD's members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in 140 U.S. chapters and 24 Global Networks. Members work in thousands of organizations of all sizes, in government, as independent consultants, and suppliers.

ASTD started in 1944 when the organization held its first annual conference. ASTD has widened the profession's focus to link learning and performance to individual and organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues.

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