The summer solstice, happening this year on June 21st, is when the sun reaches the highest and most Northern point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. Making it the longest day of sunshine throughout the year. Many mark this day as the beginning of summer – the season with abundant sunshine and warmth.
Across the United States, employers in the skilled trades, particularly in manufacturing, are facing a severe shortage of skilled workers. This skills gap is causing a growing number of discouraged workers who feel as though while there are open jobs, they cannot access them without specialized training or education.
In recent years, obtaining a college diploma has become the standard for entering the workforce. However, multiple competing forces within both the education and job market have begun to render this “standard” down to an option for some, but not all.
Recently, the New York Times featured a study on the return on investment of college degrees across different demographics in the United States. The conclusion of those results included that for some people, the economic benefit is not always evident.1 In conjunction with the decline in undergraduate enrollment, down for the sixth year in a row, the value of a four year degree may be lowering.2
Recently, the Labor Department shared exciting news about the US job market, boasting a 3.9% unemployment rate. An achievement certainly, but for many employers, the low unemployment means stiffer competition for their labor force. In the skilled trades industry particularly, this means employers must differentiate themselves to maintain a skilled workforce and talent pipeline, all while also combatting other workforce challenges related to the skills gap.
The past couple of months have been a whirlwind for education, edtech, and workforce development, but one story has become increasingly prevalent: More and more companies have continued to invest in employee training, development, and education.
The time to train front line supervisors is now. In a piece published by Industry Today, Penn Foster's Head of Skilled Trades Division, Collin Gutman, explains the crucial need for front line supervisor training. While often selected to supervisor positions given their success as front line employees, Gutman shares how the skills needed by front line employee to supervisor aren't always aligned, making the transition both "bumpy and jarring."
The time has come to serve the middle skilled workforce in the United States. In an interview with Todd Hand of Boston Search Group, Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt explains the recent trends and future outlook for the workforce development industry. Highlighting the importance of upskilling and investing in the middle skilled, or “gray collar,” cohort of workers, Britt’s interview focuses on how organizations are finally becoming aware of this need for workforce development.
Often the first impression for customers or students, whether on a sales floor or in a call center, customer service is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of any organization. And the key for excellent customer service lies in strong, dedicated employee performance.
Employee engagement is key to employee, and ultimately, company success. Effective managers, training and upskilling programs, and teambuilding can all contribute to higher employee engagement and therefore performance. However, regular goal setting is another crucial step for improving employee performance, and the practice should not be limited to January 1st or during annual reviews.
Front line employees are a crucial, and sometimes overlooked, group of workers at any organization. Whether they are working on the factory floor or greeting your customers on the sales floor, front line employees can have a dramatic impact on a company’s productivity, efficiency, and bottom line.
A for-purpose organization providing skills development training, credentials and employment matching committed to delivering superior outcomes for our students and partners. Students, employers and partner organizations rely on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the 21st century workforce. For over 125 years, Penn Foster has been dedicated to helping people lead more meaningful and productive lives and to improving social outcomes through education.Learn More >
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