4 Insights from SXSWEDU 2019 on Closing the Skills Gap

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/19/19 12:00 PM


When great minds work together they can unravel even the most complex problems. At SXSWEDU, a panel of experts looked at ways to close the skills gap for millions of middle-skills workers and students. Panel members included Penn Foster graduate Markcus Perez, Christine Mikulski of Guild Education, an organization that partners with Penn Foster, Erica Pandey of Axios, and Ivy Love of New America.

During their wide-ranging discussion, four topics arose again and again. These are the areas that employers, educators, and policy-makers must address to successfully close the skills gap.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Apprenticeship, SXSW EDU

Why Middle Skills Employers Should Care About the Labor Force Participation Rate

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/13/19 12:00 PM

The labor force participation rate might seem like one of those statistics that’s more interesting to governments than it is to business leaders. However, in a tight labor market, with an unemployment rate of just 4%, employers should be concerned to learn that there are millions of potential employees in the prime of their working life who don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one. What’s worse, a disproportionate number of these people are middle skills workers.

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Topics: Upskilling, workforce training, labor force participation

At SXSW EDU, Penn Foster to Tackle the Skills Gap and Talent Development

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/5/19 4:58 PM

When engaged stakeholders gather to discuss the future of teaching and learning, Penn Foster is naturally right in the middle of things. We’ll be sharing what we know, learning from other industry leaders, and contributing to two programs at this year’s SXSW EDU conference in Austin, TX.

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Topics: Skills Gap, workforce training, SXSW EDU

Companies that are Revolutionizing Skills Training in Detroit

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/4/19 11:00 AM

Detroit is a resilient city in the process of rebuilding a robust economic future. The path to great progress is only temporarily gated by the challenge that many workers face when seeking out the skills and education they need to thrive. Fortunately, some visionary companies have partnered with Penn Foster to create a path for these workers.

In 2013, battered by changes in manufacturing and a shift in the global economy, Detroit declared bankruptcy. That could have been the end of the story for the once-dynamic city, but Detroit is resilient. Passionate business, government, and community leaders immediately set to work to restore Detroit’s former greatness. Within 13 months, Detroit was out of bankruptcy and on the road to recovery.

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Topics: Upskilling, Upskill Detroit, Skills Forward

The Real Impact of Automation: A Skills Revolution

Posted by Frank Britt on 3/1/19 5:00 AM

You’ve heard that the biggest enemies of the skilled worker in the last two decades have been automation and the constantly improving technologies that will make human work obsolete. If a machine can complete a task more efficiently at less cost, it makes sense to invest in cutting edge technology over upskilling workers. Conventional wisdom has us fearing a fully automated workforce because it means the eradication of middle-skilled jobs in almost every industry. Before completely investing in an automated future over developing workers’ skills, consider this often overlooked, contrarian point of view: the impact of automation on the workforce will be incremental and, in fact, positive.

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Topics: Upskilling, skills solution, automation

 

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