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Programs & Activities / Past

O*Net Jobs on the Border


USMCOC Project Using O*Net to Enhance Workforce Development on the U.S.-Mexico Border


The President’s InterAgency Task Force on Economic Development of the Southwest Border Report issued in May 2000 spotlighted two U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce projects – Wiring the Border and the creation of a Southwest Border BusinessLINC coalition. Both of these initiatives will increase markets for small businesses located along the Southwest Border through increased sales to maquiladoras and U.S. Federal Government entities and mentor-protégé relationships with members of the Business Roundtable.


The Task Force report also recommended “Building on the existing infrastructure for worker training and placement.” It stated that in order “to improve the overall socio-economic health of Southwest Border communities, workers must improve their skills and earn a living wage. Residents face a number of job skill deficiencies that serve as barrier to better wages and more stable jobs. These obstacles include low reading levels and poor math, computer and English language skills.”


O*Net, is the Department of Labor’s automated system which integrates a powerful relational database, common language for job and skill information, and crosswalks to the other job classification systems into a complete job information solution. The USMCOC project will use O*Net to help build regional capabilities to meet the demands of twenty-first century jobs along the U.S.-Mexico border which the USMCOC’s “Wiring the Border” project will help create. It will do so by:


  1. Translating the O*Net content model descriptors into Spanish;

  2. Identifying 10 demand occupations on the Border and translating occupation-specific O*Net data about a limited subset of these occupations;

  3. Preparing bilingual, culturally appropriate materials for employers and workforce development entities that will help them use O*Net and integrate language and literacy instructions with vocational training; and

  4. Recommending practical ways to maximize the benefits of O*Net in the region.