Last week, The Native Society sat down with Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt to talk about his career journey to CEO of an education company, industry trends effecting Penn Foster and its partner institutions, and what’s next for this 124-year old company. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
What industry trends are you noticing, and how do you capitalize on them?
The redistribution of opportunity is this country’s leading challenge as there is a stall in upward mobility at every stage of our education pipeline. We need to be far better at redistributing opportunity and giving everyone equal access to participate in the future. What should we do about the fact that 50 percent of urban youth won't graduate from high school? Or, the fact that just 8 percent of kids growing up in the bottom 25 percent of household incomes will get a college degree? Or, jobs created through the second quarter of 2014, paid on average lower than the average wage of jobs from 2007, while the top 20 percent of income households captured 61 percent of total wage gains. Education is primary path to leveling the playing field of opportunity and providing an on-ramp for lower income people who are increasingly being locked out of the future. As a provider of affordable, accessible education, we will work with employers who must play a more active role at the high school level in order to educate their future and current employees.