Lauren Mackie

As a Marketing Specialist, Lauren is dedicated to both student and partner success and provides support through email marketing, trade show organization and content development. A Boston native, Lauren graduated from Boston College and regularly makes time to travel and ski.
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Recent Posts

The Apprenticeship Guide: Why Developing Talent from Within is Great for Your Bottom Line

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 5/5/17 4:57 PM

When a company identifies the need to fill a job role or particular skill set, what is the first instinct of management? More often than not, employers gravitate toward recruiting the talent they need through hiring sites like Monster, Indeed, and more. However, what if the talent is simply not available? Many employers in manufacturing and construction are finding themselves in this exact position due to the skills gap in the skilled trades industries. A 2016 Department of Commerce (DOC) report notes that many firms often require employees to have a high level of company-specific knowledge that often cannot be found in the labor market.1 When positions are continually left open, employers must deal with the consequences of delivering products late or turning down work altogether.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Employers, Upskilling, Skills Gap, Apprenticeship, Skilled Trades

What Is the Role of Higher Education in American Manufacturing?

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 4/3/17 5:03 PM

With the advent of increased automation and high-tech manufacturing tools, revolutionary ways of doing work have begun to bridge the collegiate and blue collar divide. Plant managers and manufacturing business owners need workers with specific skills to fill integral positions. Consequently, employers are becoming increasingly focused on training their current staff to fill these roles and urging candidates to take courses that certify them for modern, tech-heavy work. 

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Topics: Employers, Education, Skills Gap, Industrial, Manufacturing, Higher Ed

How Millennials Are Changing the Workplace Learning Landscape

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 3/22/17 10:00 AM

Millennials now make up more than one-third of the workforce in the United States, surpassing both the baby boomers and generation X.1 Millennials are like no generation before them, and they are playing a pivotal role in reshaping the workplace environment and expectations. One major benefit that millennials are looking for from their employers is continuous training and development.

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Topics: Employers, Millennials, Training, Skills Gap

The Role of Technology & Training in the Resurgence of U.S. Manufacturing

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 3/18/17 12:30 AM

For many, the industry most-associated with the term “skills gap” remains manufacturing in the United States. The story of the decline of US manufacturing has been relayed many times over the past few decades; in 2016, CNN Money stated that 5 million manufacturing jobs had been lost since 2000.1 But the reality is that the industry is facing a resurgence. Many look to modern training programs as enablers of new growth within the industry's skilled workforce. But how have these learning and development options actually evolved? How can the lessons learned about training in the manufacturing industry be applied to other markets in the economy?

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Employers, Skills Gap, Industrial, Manufacturing

Why Are Employers So Challenged to Find the Skills They Need?

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 3/13/17 1:32 PM

Across a multitude of industries, employers have been struggling to find – and retain – quality talent. However, the root of this issue is highly contested. While some critics challenge the very existence of it, 92% of executives agree that there is a skills gap in the U.S. workforce, resulting in companies’ inability to adequately fill their workforce.1 Where does this problem stem from? There are many factors working together that have led to the skills shortage, and we’ll explore several of them in the article below.  

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Training, Learning and Development

Investing in L&D, Part 4: Improve Retention, Customer Experience & Efficiencies

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 2/23/17 3:00 PM

Talent retention has become a mandate for any company that wishes to be successful today. Seventy-eight percent of business leaders surveyed by Deloitte ranked employee retention and engagement as either important or urgent.1 One reason is the growing awareness of the expense of replacing employees, which Deloitte says can cost up to twice a departing employee's salary.2

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Training, Learning and Development, Upskilling, Skills Gap

Investing in Learning & Development, Part 3: Improve Productivity and Efficiency

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 2/8/17 2:10 PM

Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of offering training and development programs for their employees. In 2014, businesses spent an average of $1,229 per employee on training and development initiatives, according to the Association for Talent Development's latest annual State of the Industry report.Employees received an average of 32.4 hours of training, while employees in organizations recognized by ATD as demonstrating the most enterprise-wide success received 43.9 hours of training. Bersin by Deloitte principal Josh Bersin also notes that high-performing companies spend more per employee on training.2

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Education, Learning and Development, Upskilling, Skills Gap

Investing in Learning & Development, Part 2: Boost Morale and Build Brand Culture

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 1/19/17 9:53 AM

Employer spending on learning and development soared in 2015, swelling 14.2 percent to $70.6 billion, Training magazine reported.1 Employers value employee development because they see its return on investment. HR Magazine found that employers who invest $1,500 or more per employee annually see 24 percent higher profit margin on average than companies who spend less on training.2 In addition to this direct financial return, learning and development programs offer other benefits that indirectly boost revenue, including increased employee self-esteem, greater employee self-direction, better morale and a stronger brand culture.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Education, Learning and Development, Skills Gap

Investing in Learning & Development: Its Crucial Role in Solving the Skills Crisis

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 1/6/17 5:52 AM

Almost every organization struggles with skills gaps, in one form or another. A skill gap is a gap between what employers want or need their employees to be able to do, and what those employees can actually do when they walk into work.1 In the manufacturing industry, 82% of executives report skills deficiencies in production roles have a significant impact on their ability to meet customer demand.2 In the service industry, soft skills like “customer service” and “problem-solving” are of the highest importance, yet 89% of executives in a Wall Street Journal survey reported having a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes.3 For employers facing skills shortages, the impact can result in decreased productivity and efficiency, missed opportunities, and higher expenses.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Training, Learning and Development, Upskilling, Frontline Worker

How JWF Industries Uses Apprenticeship Programs to Upskill its Workforce

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 12/9/16 8:55 AM

In 2014, President Obama set a national goal to double the number of U.S. apprenticeships within 5 years, sparking a serious growth trend in the system. The next year, this goal was followed by the administration and Congress investing $265 million in new funding to support apprenticeship.1 As a result, more than 197,500 individuals entered the apprenticeship system nationwide in 2015 to obtain the skills they need to succeed in their career while earning the wages they need to build financial security.2

With middle-skilled jobs on the rise – and accounting for nearly 43% of all job growth between 2013 and 2015 – apprenticeships are needed to help workers learn the most in-demand skills.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Industry News, Employers, Apprenticeship, Industrial

 

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