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Ready to Innovate: Are Educators and Executives Aligned on the Creative Readiness of the U.S. Workforce?

Innovation is crucial to competition, and creativity is integral to innovation. In November 2007, The Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators, surveyed public school superintendents and American business executives (employers) to identify and compare their views surrounding creativity. Overwhelmingly, both the superintendents who educate future workers and the employers who hire them agree that creativity is increasingly important in U.S. workplaces, yet there is a gap between understanding this truth and putting it into meaningful practice. Among the key findings of this research:

  • 85 percent of employers concerned with hiring creative people say they can't find the applicants they seek.
  • Employers concerned with hiring creative people rarely use profile tests to assess the creative skills of potential employees. Instead, they rely on face-to-face interviews.
  • While 97 percent of employers say creativity is of increasing importance, only 72 percent say that hiring creative people is a primary concern.

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