How to Develop Leaders in Middle Skills Professions

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 10/30/19 11:00 AM

Imagine you have an open position for a management role in your business. Which would you rather do? Create a job post, sort through resumes, interview candidates, and eventually hire someone who might hopefully be the right fit, or promote a proven employee who already understands your business and your team? 

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Upskilling, workforce development

How Will the Gig Economy Shape the Future of Libraries?

Posted by Ronald J. Stefanski on 7/16/19 3:01 PM

Growth of the Gig Economy

The gig economy, the free market system in which temporary positions are common, has grown exponentially in the past decade, from 10.1% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015.1 The growth of this industry falls to the development of new technologies that enable transactions directly between providers and consumers and the increasing disinterest in acquiring traditional 9-5 jobs.1 More than ever before, people are filling temporary roles including working as handymen, cultivating content as freelance writers, and performing administrative work.

Despite the temporary nature of these roles, they often require new skill sets to be learned. Free educational services and skills development programs provided through libraries have become critical to job placement and advancement for many gig positions and demand continues to increase.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Upskilling, Skills Gap, skills solution, Libraries, workforce development, working learners

The Evolving Role of Libraries in the Upskilling of Local Communities

Posted by Kayla Torgersen on 6/20/19 12:53 PM

While libraries have significantly evolved over the last decade to become more technologically advanced, they have also progressed considerably when it comes to providing educational services to their patrons. This is especially important in a time when 73% of American adults consider themselves lifelong learners.1 Nick Buron, Chief Librarian at a location that serves nearly 2.3 million patrons, takes it one step further and insists that lifelong learning is “no longer a luxury – it is a necessity.”

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Upskilling, Skills Gap, Libraries, lifelong learning

Watch Roadtrip Nation's "Skill Powered"

Posted by Penn Foster on 4/3/19 11:00 AM

"Skill Powered" is a documentary fueled by Penn Foster and Strada Education Network, available online and airing nationally on public television stations. It will reach over 60 million homes. “Skill Powered” follows three young people as they traveled 3,086 miles over 24 days in a green RV to find out how they can break expectations and pave their own career paths. Shyane, Alex, and Ryan met with leaders in the skilled trades, including costumers, chefs, and welders, to learn that a four-year degree isn’t the only way to find a fulfilling career! In turn, the leaders are invigorated by the enthusiasm and optimism brought by the young adults and get a little something to help them in their own work along the way. Check out Roadtrip Nation's “Skill Powered” here: http://bit.ly/2ODm56F

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Employers, Education, Training, Skills Gap, Skilled Trades, workforce training, workforce development, Skills Forward

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

The Future of Work for Middle Skills America

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 11/15/18 3:17 PM

Employers in the United States have a problem. The skills gap, the space between what job seekers know and what employers need them to know, is widening, especially for middle-skills workers. Educational institutions offer degrees, but no guarantee that those credentials will lead to actual jobs for their graduates. Staffing agencies and workforce boards are operating in their individual silos, often relying on outdated philosophies.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Forward Thinking Careers

At Penn Foster, Every Week is National Apprenticeship Week

Posted by Marie Murphy on 11/13/18 3:44 PM

The growing skills gap has been felt across industries, leaving countless job opportunities open because of a lack of skilled talent. One proven practice for upskilling learners to fill those in-demand roles, especially those in the skilled trades, has been apprenticeship programs.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Apprenticeship, workforce training

The Future Role of Apprenticeships in Manufacturing

Posted by Marie Murphy on 6/13/18 11:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Skilled Trades, workforce training

Is a 4-Year Degree for Everyone?

Posted by Marie Murphy on 6/7/18 1:27 PM

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

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Industry News

Are Millennials Changing Manufacturing?

Posted by Collin Gutman on 5/30/18 9:59 AM

You know all about millennials. You understand that they make up the biggest portion of the workforce, that they expect more guidance and clearer paths for career development, that they’re impacting every industry from paper products to farming.

Manufacturing is no exception. The millennial generation is looking at the manufacturing industry in new ways and expecting it to learn new tricks.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Employers, Manufacturing

 

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