If America is to remain competitive in the world economy, American workers must have the skills required to compete effectively. It is also essential that the strategic decisions of firms and·the organization of the workplace be conducive to full utilization of workers' skills. Future research in this area can improve ·our understanding of how human behavior, group behavior, and organizational structure relate to employment and productivity. Such work can have a substantial effect on the private sector as it works to design and staff workplaces for the future that are productive and that support a reasonable quality of life for workers and their families . . . 2. Educating for the Future

Not all of America's youth are being adequately educated for the future, as indicated by the poor performance by u.S. students on standardized tests, high school drop out rates and extensive criticism of the public schools. Schools face increasingly difficult challenges in preparing a wide range of students to be productive and involved citizens. For instance, violence is a major concern inside many schools; growing population diversity means schools must cope with issues of multiculturalism, bilingualism, and racism; changes in family structure suggest that children are receiving less help and support at home for their school work 3. Fostering Successful Families

Families playa pivotal role in the creation of human capital. Families must be able to provide children and adolescents with the resources to become competent adults and productive citizens and (eventually) to be effective parents themselves. American families are undergoing radical changes, however, and there is concern that today's children are not being nurtured as effectively as in the past. More limited economic opportunities are putting new stresses on lower-income families, while the growing number of single-parent families at all income levels is creating a new set of challenges and potential problems for parents and children ... 4. Building Strong Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods and the capital they contain (both social, physical, and human capital) strongly shape social networks and the daily activities of local residents. A neighborhood environment can facilitate or inhibit the life chances of its residents. As our society becomes increasingly urban and segregated by race, class, and income, the neighborhoods may be increasingly important in shaping the opportunities of their residents. Research on neighborhoods includes looking at the importance of social networks among geographically proximate adults and

children, the role of neighborhood organizations and institutions on the lives of residents, the negative effects of crime, decaying housing, or gangs within a neighborhood, and the causes of local economic development ... 5.. Reducing Disadvantage in a Diverse Society

America is and always has been a society of diverse peoples. Growing immigration has led to increases in diversity in recent years. Diversity has been linked to disadvantage as. certain groups, identified by race or ethnicity, have long faced different economic opportunities and outcomes, limiting their contribution. To develop the human skills of all citizens of this country, we need to find ways to meet the social challenges that diversity represents ... 6. Overcoming Poverty and Deprivation

Problems of poverty and deprivation have been remarkably stubborn in the United States. In 1992, 37 million Americans (14.5 percent of the population) lived in families whose income was below the U.S. poverty line. Other problems of deprivation, beyond income poverty, may be even more disturbing: growing homelessness, rising incarceration rates due to violence and drugs, or high illiteracy rates. Scientific research on poverty and deprivation has helped to better define and describe the causes of poverty and has been instrumental in both designing policies to combat poverty and in accurately evaluating their effectiveness ...