Fantastic & Free First Fridays: Employability Skills

CrowdED Learning is proud to welcome our very first guest blogger—Rajinder Gill—to share more about March's Fantastic and Free First Fridays Resource of the Month! This month, we are featuring a great set of open education resources—including instructional materials, video-based assessments, and badges—focused on helping learners develop the essential skills needed for educational and employment success: New World of Work!
Image of New World of Work's 10 21st Century Skills Badges
By Rajinder Gill, Co-creator, New World of Work
New World of Work (NWoW), a 21st-century skills program currently being used at 65 community colleges in California and across numerous Adult Education programs, incorporates three key components: 
  1. a curriculum designed to be taught in a classroom/workshop setting, 
  2. a work-based learning component, and 
  3. a digital badge micro-credential.

Taken together, these three components have the potential to improve learners' 21st-century skills. Building these skills can help educational outcomes, such as college completion and the likelihood of finding and keeping a job with family-supporting wages. 

Informed by the work of numerous Skill Panels, New World of Work established and validated their “Top 10” list of 21st-Century Employability Skills with core learning outcomes that relate to individuals entering the emerging economy:
  • Adaptability | The ability to tolerate inevitable changes in the work environment and adapt accordingly.
  • Analysis/Mindset | The ability to take in all factors in a situation, including the human and emotional factors, which might be missed in automated processes. 
  • Collaboration | The ability to recognize good partners, employing empathy to see the partners’ points of view and add value to a collaborative partnership, which includes having an understanding of their own skills.
  • Social/Diversity Awareness | The ability to be comfortable collaborating on team projects with a variety of people from varying socioeconomic, generational, cultural, and national backgrounds, and the awareness of cultural customs of others to effectively communicate. 
  • Digital Fluency | The comfort with current technology and the willingness to adapt to emerging technology as it pertains to their specific industries. 
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset | The ability to recognize opportunities and learn from failure, cultivate strong networks, and stay open to developing new skills to differentiate themselves in the labor market. 
  • Empathy | The ability to tolerate the risk for failure and be able to empathize with members who experience disappointment in order to be more resilient and build from that experience.
  • Self-Awareness | The awareness of one’s own strengths, values, propensities, and transferable skills.  
  • Communication | The ability to effectively communicate in both virtual and in-person interactions, including having the social and cultural appropriateness that is essential to a worker’s effectiveness. 
  • Resilience | The ability to develop and grow from failed projects and re-visioning. 
NWoW provides FREE, openly licensed downloadable curriculum on each of these skills. The lessons come complete with instructor lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, “what not to do” videos, assessment videos, handouts, and the opportunity for learners to earn digital badges. The lessons are designed for postsecondary students, adult learners, and clients at workforce development organizations. 

There is also an emerging Community of Practice for Adult Education providers who are using the NWoW content and want to share ideas and resources for adaptations of the lessons that best serve their diverse Adult Learner populations. To learn more about the Adult Ed group, please contact  at

Learn More about NWoW at Our Upcoming Webinar!

CrowdED Learning is excited to share more about New World of Work's essential skills curriculum, a huge area of need for which we've heard repeated requests for more resources! As is our new format for the F^4 Resource of the Month, we will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 21 led by Frank Gerdeman, former State Director of Adult Education in Vermont and current Director of Adult Education at Lake Tahoe Community College. Frank is leading NWoW's community of practice for Adult Education providers who are using NWoW. During the webinar, he will share more about all of the amazing resources available through NWoW to develop and assess essential skills, how NWoW is being used in California and beyond, and how the adult education community of practice is working to ensure NWoW is a great fit for adult education settings. Click here to sign up for the March 21 webinar!


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