ASTD surveyed 1,179 companies and found that 79 percent of them say they face a skills gap. 79 percent! Communities, states, regions, and entire nations pay a heavy price when workers lack the right skills for critical jobs. While the skills gap has always been a concern for organizations, the global recession complicates an already perplexing issue. Recognizing the extraordinary circumstances, ASTD conducted new research and the results are published ina new white paper that features skills gap survey findings and includes impact of the recession, Web 2.0, andthe surge ofmillennials in the workplace. The paper is titled Bridging the Skills Gap: New Factors Compound the Growing Skills Shortage. The new paper analyzes the multi-layered dimensions of the skills gap in today’s economic climate including the impact of the global recession, the retirement of Baby Boomers in the workforce, Web 2.0 technologies, and the surge of the millennial cohort into the workforce. It includes the results of ASTD’s 2009 Skills Gap Poll taken by 1,179 organizations. Case studies from eight leading companies are also included. Bridging the Skills Gap: New Factors Compound the Growing Skills Shortage outlines a six-step action plan to help organizations and individuals deal proactively with the skills gap. “Recent economic challenges have forced public- and private-sector organizations to execute their strategies with more precision than ever before, and do it with fewer resources, especially people,” says Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. “Many senior executives are struggling to close skills gaps within their organizations. The Action Plan identified in this white paper provides a process for leaders, managers, and learning professionals to use to successfully manage this challenge.” Learning professionals are strategically positioned to identify the skills and competencies their organizations possess and those needed for the future. The white paper includes eight case studies from Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, EMC Corporation, IBM, McCain Foods Limited, NVR Inc., Steelcase, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. These organizations’ case studies provide best practices to address skills gaps.