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Building Blocks Model

To ensure that the Building Blocks model reflects the foundational knowledge and skills needed by today's workforce, ETA conducted a review of the 22 industry models in the Clearinghouse and analyzed the various changes our industry partners have made to Tiers 1-3 over time. Based on this review, the Building Blocks model was updated in 2014 to ensure those competencies accurately reflect the workforce needs of industry. As part of this update, ETA also reviewed other competency frameworks, including the Department of Education's Employability Skills Framework and the National Network of Business and Industry Associations' Common Employability Skills to meet the industry's needs.

The updated model features new information on Sustainable Practices and Health and Safety. It also includes a revised Basic Computer Skills competency block and updated key behaviors in many competency areas, as well as changes designed to promote equitable access to jobs for all jobseekers.

In 2017, the model was revised again to incorporate foundational workplace health and safety skills from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Safe Skilled and Ready Workforce Program designed to help protect America's workforce and create safe, healthy, and productive workplaces. The updated CMC competencies were reviewed and validated by subject matter experts from NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For a more detailed description of the changes, download the Summary of Changes.

The industry model frameworks are based on the Building Blocks competency model and then modified to meet industry needs. Scroll down to view the Building Blocks, or select an industry model from the left menu.

Download the industry model and worksheets in several formats    Download Image

Generic Building Blocks Competency Model

Generic Building Blocks Pyramid

1.1 Interpersonal Skills Displaying the skills to work effectively with others from diverse backgrounds. 1.2 Integrity Displaying strong moral principles and work ethic. 1.3 Professionalism Maintaining a professional presence. 1.4 Initiative Demonstrating a commitment to effective job performance by taking action on one’s own and following through to get the job done. 1.5 Dependability & Reliability Displaying responsible behaviors at work. 1.6 Adaptability & Flexibility Displaying the capability to adapt to new, different or changing requirements. 1.7 Lifelong Learning Demonstrating a commitment to self-development and improvement of knowledge and skills. 2.1 Reading Understanding written sentences, paragraphs, and figures in work-related documents on paper, on computers, or adaptive devices. 2.2 Writing Using standard business English to compile information and prepare written documents on paper, on computers, or adaptive devices. 2.3 Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems. 2.4 Science & Technology Using scientific rules and methods to express ideas and solve problems on paper, on computers, or on adaptive devices. 2.5 Communication Listening, speaking, and signaling so others can understand using a variety of methods, including hearing, speech, American Sign Language, instant messaging, text-to-speech devices, etc. 2.6 Critical & Analytical Thinking Using logical thought processes to analyze information and draw conclusions. 2.7 Basic Computer Skills Using information technology and related applications, including adaptive devices and software, to convey and retrieve information. 3.1 Teamwork Working cooperatively with others to complete work assignments. 3.2 Customer Focus Efficiently and effectively addressing the needs of clients/customers. 3.3 Planning & Organizing Planning and prioritizing work to manage time effectively and accomplish assigned tasks. 3.4 Creative Thinking Generating innovative and creative solutions. 3.5 Problem Solving & Decision-Making Generating, evaluating, and implementing solutions to problems. 3.6 Working with Tools & Technology Selecting, using, and maintaining tools and technology, including adaptive tools and technology, to facilitate work activity (with accommodation when necessary). 3.7 Scheduling & Coordinating Making arrangements that fulfill all requirements as efficiently and economically as possible. 3.8 Checking, Examining, & Recording Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/digital format, including adaptive devices and software. 3.9 Business Fundamentals Using information on basic business principles, trends, and economics. 3.10 Sustainable Practices Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 3.11 Health & Safety Supporting a safe and healthy workplace. Staffing Informing Delegating Networking Monitoring Work Entrepreneurship Supporting Others Motivating and Inspiring Developing and Mentoring Strategic Planning/Action Preparing and Evaluating Budgets Clarifying Roles and Objectives Managing Conflict and Team Building Developing an Organizational Vision Monitoring and Controlling Resources Click here to search for O*NET Occupational Competencies Profiles