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What We Do
ATD defines a skills gap as a significant gap between an organization’s current capabilities and the skills it needs to achieve its goals and meet customer demand. An organization with significant skills gaps risks not meeting customer demand. Because critical skills are missing, it may not be able to grow or compete, and may not be able to prepare for the future of work. This marks the sixth skills gap report produced by the Association for Talent Development (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 2003. In addition to reviewing well-regarded research from outside ATD, this whitepaper will discuss findings from a 19- question survey of 304 talent development professionals–team leaders, managers, directors, leaders, and executives–whose companies are headquartered in the United States. The survey opened in April of 2018 and closed in early June. Insights from that analysis, as well as quotes from respondents, are shared throughout this report. We also have included case studies and examples from companies that are addressing their skills gaps creatively and effectively, and we provide an action plan for talent development professionals to identify and close the skills gaps within their organizations.