How We Can Make CTE More Efficient and Effective, Part II: CTE at the High School Level

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/31/16 11:12 AM

Employment-focused education for “middle-skill” occupations is becoming increasingly relevant. More than 850,000 K-12 students in the U.S. are classified as “vocational,” which encompasses CTE fields and makes up just around 2% of total students. The cost to educate these students is nearly $14,000 or 20-40% greater than that of traditional academic instruction. In recent years, approximately $13 billion has been spent annually by federal, state and local governments to support youth-focused vocational education systems across the U.S., with federal funding constituting only about 4-8% percent of all state and local spending.1 This is in addition to the $16 billion post-high school trade and technical school-industry.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, Public & Private High Schools

How Businesses Can Help Develop the Next Generation of Workers

Posted by Kate Mosteller on 5/26/16 11:00 AM


Today’s employers are in the midst of a talent shortage that shows little sign of abating. According to the Manpower Group’s latest annual survey, thirty-eight percent of employers report having trouble filling jobs.1 The professional and business services industry and the education and health services industry each have more than one million job openings,
the Department of Education reports,2 and according to The Apsen Institute there are over 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the United States that do not require a four-year degree.3 These jobs, often referred to as middle-skill jobs, make up the largest part of the labor marketing in the United States. Businesses have a vested interest in solving this problem. Here are a few ways the business community can work with local youth organizations to prepare the next generation of workers.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers

The Keys to Restaurant Employee Retention, Part 1: Recognition

Posted by Leanne Smith on 5/25/16 11:00 AM

Among numerous challenges facing restaurants of all types is retaining top talent. Retention is a strategic goal within organizations that’s discussed among groups and departments on a regular basis. In my position as Director of Human Resources for a restaurant brand, I am responsible for leading this initiative. It is especially challenging in the restaurant industry, where turnover trends are high.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers

4 Ways to Encourage Local Businesses to Hire Your Youth Program’s Participants

Posted by Benjamin Pozniak on 5/24/16 10:30 AM

Youth employment rates are rising. The unemployment rate for young people fell to 10.3 percent in January, down from an all-time high of 19.5 percent in April 2010, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported in Trading Economics1. However, these gains are primarily among youth who are out of school; those who are trying to simultaneously go to school and work are still struggling to balance both demands, a Child Trends Databank report observes2. If your organization is trying to connect youth with jobs, the success of your program depends heavily on securing support from local businesses. Here are a few ways youth programs can make local businesses more motivated to hire their programs’ participants.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

Four Tips on Implementing a Successful Peer-to-Peer Recognition Program at your Company

Posted by Dara Warn on 5/19/16 11:00 AM

Peer-to-peer recognition programs are becoming increasingly popular in the quick-service restaurant and retail industries. While top-down recognition still goes a long way, getting acknowledged by one's coworkers is also a powerful way to increase motivation and job satisfaction. More motivated and satisfied employees will in turn deliver a better brand experience, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers

How to Use Social Media to Attract Youth to Your Workforce Board

Posted by Erik Hensley on 5/18/16 11:30 AM

For workforce boards seeking to draw youth to your career centers, social media is one of the best recruitment tools you have. A whopping 92 percent of teens go online daily, a Pew Research Center found.1 Fifty-six percent go online more than once a day and 24 percent are online “almost constantly.” Among teens who go online, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are the most popular social media networks; 71 percent of teens use Facebook, 52 percent use Instagram, 41 percent use Snapchat and 33 percent use Twitter. For your social media marketing strategy to be effective, you need to target these channels.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

How We Can Make CTE More Efficient and Effective - Part I

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/17/16 12:49 PM

To date, a lot of good has been done for Career Technical Education (CTE). Lives have been changed and skills have been built, as institutions and dedicated faculty have been well-preparing students for careers in CTE.  In this series, we’ll talk about how to build on the strong foundation of CTE and evolve the system while innovating for the future.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, College Enrollment & Retention

Celebrating Success at New Hampshire Job Corps

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 5/12/16 5:00 PM

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the first annual Academic Advisory Council at the New Hampshire Job Corps center, in Manchester New Hampshire. The council was held to foster an open dialogue between community stakeholders and identify academic best practices for increasing literacy and numeracy levels. During our visit, we also had the chance to celebrate the success of the center’s very first Penn Foster High School graduate, Tyler Eaton, and present Tyler with his diploma during the monthly all students awards ceremony.

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2016 Southwest Pathways Conference: Positioning Opportunity Youth for Educational and Career Success

Posted by Jeff Bentley on 5/12/16 2:30 PM

Welcome to my inaugural blog post for Penn Foster! Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the  excellent and informative 2016 Southwest Pathways Conference. It was the 2nd annual conference hosted by the Global Pathways Institute that focuses on collaboration between educators, workforce development, and industry to provide young people, especially those disconnected from both school and work, the necessary tools to lead productive and successful lives.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Public & Private High Schools, Employers

7 Tips to Attract More Clients and Drive Outcomes at Your Workforce Board

Posted by Erik Hensley on 5/11/16 11:00 AM

career_center_image.pngThere are a number of factors contributing to the need for workforce boards to expand the reach of their programs: economic conditions, an oversupply of job seekers, underemployment, the need for skilled workers and growing expectations of funders and stakeholders. To meet this challenge, it falls upon workforce center directors to drive recruitment outreach. Here are seven strategies workforce center directors can implement to help their case managers recruit more clients.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Opportunity Youth

Help First-Generation Students Succeed With a Soft Start program

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 5/10/16 5:00 PM

Being a first-generation student at a post-secondary school can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. In addition to the pressure of changing their family landscape, first-generation students often lack the support and encouragement that traditional students have. According to The Atlantic, youth who are the first in their families to go to school are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation1. Many first-generation students are also balancing families and work obligations along with their studies, making support from their school vital.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

2016 YouthBuild NDA Meeting: 3 Sessions We Can’t Wait to Attend

Posted by Steve Copacino on 5/6/16 5:29 PM

For the past two years, Penn Foster has had the privilege of attending the YouthBuild National Directors Association (NDA) Meeting. This year’s meeting will take place next week in Arlington, VA and we’re excited to  continue to build upon the strong relationships we’ve developed with YouthBuild USA and many of the YouthBuild programs nationwide. The two-day conference will be full of YouthBuild and industry updates, professional development seminars, award ceremonies, and a myriad of networking opportunities.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

 

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