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This paper was presented at the International Literacy Year Colloquium in October 1990, in Washington, D.C. The information is drawn from a number of sources, including job training and community development and from National Assessment research. It examines the literacy demands in the workplace in the United States, such as shipping, food processing, banking and furniture manufacture. It also shows how literacy needs are changing. Workers are limited by their lack of ability to handle literacy demands on the job. Top workers, compared to adequate workers, show a different approach to handling literacy matters. Literacy education needs to change in order to be more in step with the needs of the workplace.