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Arts Education Good for Business

A survey shows employers want creative problem solvers with more than just technical skills.
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Amid ongoing cuts to elementary and high school arts programs, employers say it's getting harder to find creative problem solvers with more than technical skills.

According to the Conference Board, more than 90 percent of 155 school officials and 89 employers surveyed said an arts and communications education was crucial to fostering creativity in the workforce. While most employers said they needed workers who can tackle issues raised by their managers, they also wanted employees with enough creativity to identify those issues in the first place, the New York-based private research group reported.

Most employers said those kinds of workers were becoming increasingly rare, the survey found. Arts programs are typically the first place elementary and high school officials look at for reductions during budget cuts.

"We believe it is time for employers to evaluate how well their corporate support of education and the arts, as well as their own employee-training programs, stack up against the strategic value they themselves place on innovation and its creative underpinning," Conference Board CEO Jonathan Spector said in a statement. "It is also time for greater dialogue within and across all sectors to better understand and align efforts to foster creativity in current and future employees," he added.




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