How Career Schools Can Boost Recruitment Heading Into 2017

Posted by Steve Copacino on 12/7/16 2:00 PM

Career schools and colleges face a competitive recruitment landscape in 2017. While traditional and nontraditional student enrollment are on an upward trend, the sheer amount of available education choices makes it difficult for schools to stand out. You need a strong recruiting strategy in place before the new year rolls around to catch the attention of people making resolutions to change their lives by going back to school.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Opportunity Youth, Colleges & Career Schools

Why We’re So Thankful for Education this Holiday Season

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 11/23/16 2:56 PM

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments of both our students and our partners throughout 2016. As a skills solutions organization, we are proud to play a role in providing individuals with the education and skills they need to take the next step in their career and positively impact their future. However, much of this would not be possible without the partnerships we have formed that enable students and employees to pursue our programs.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Employers, At-Risk Youth, Education

OECD Report Provides Insight on NEETs and Solutions to Support At-Risk Youth

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 11/10/16 4:48 PM

Released every two years, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s 2016 Society at a Glance report provides an overview of social indicators and addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends. The 2016 report, published just last month, notably highlights the challenge presented by “NEETS” and explores solutions to better support jobless and disengaged youth.

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Topics: Dropout Crisis, Industry News, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, At-Risk Youth, Education

Why Our Country Must Keep Pushing Forward on Education

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 11/10/16 1:41 PM

Educators, for-purpose organizations, and employers alike have cause to celebrate. America’s high school graduation rate is at a new record high of 83.2%, meaning more young people than ever before will have a better chance of success in today’s job market. Additionally, African American and Latino students are graduating at record rates, and gains for disabled students and students of low-income families were seen as well. Unfortunately, this still means that 16.8% of young people of the traditional high school age are falling through the cracks, and will have an exponentially lower chances of success in their careers over their lifetimes without a high school diploma. What will become of this forgotten 16.8%? What sort of economic implications will this have for our country?

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Topics: High School Completion, Industry News, Opportunity Youth, Education

Beyond Empowerment: Engaging Opportunity Youth Through a Team Effort

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 11/7/16 5:38 PM

When addressing the issue of youth unemployment, it is critically important to raise our collective sensitivities to the cultural gaps that exist between Opportunity Youth and employers. What do we mean by cultural gaps? Young, motivated workers present a huge untapped resource that could potentially fill the employment gap in the market today, yet currently remain disconnected from the workforce. Employers have historically not engaged Opportunity Youth, for fear that these are not the right candidates for the jobs.  We believe employers must step up and develop a Cultural Intelligence and empathy towards this untapped cohort and engage them actively.  

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Employers

3 Steps Youth Organizations Can Take to Better Develop Career-Ready Students

Posted by Daniel Dolph on 11/4/16 11:17 AM

For organizations working with Opportunity Youth, the mission is to position students for long-term employment. Obviously, the thought and work that goes into doing this is more complex than the mission statement sounds. There are a number of different philosophies for how to most effectively train and skill students. But, a common starting place is to look at the data to understand the local economy and determine which jobs and technical skills are in demand.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Power Skills, workplace competencies, soft skills

Bridging the Gap: Discover 4 Key Strategies to Enhance Workplace Readiness

Posted by Steve Copacino on 10/20/16 11:46 PM

The numbers don't lie: the #1 skill HR professionals said was most needed by new hires in the past 12 months was soft skills1. These soft skills, also known as Power Skills, include communication, teamwork, integrity, and problem solving and are critical for success in the workplace. Unfortunately, many employers and schools lack the resources to help develop these valuable skills.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Public & Private High Schools, Employers, Colleges & Career Schools

4 Learnings on Competency-Based Education from the 2016 Close It Summit

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 10/19/16 12:19 PM

Kicking off just two weeks ago, the 4th Annual Close IT Summit in Dallas, TX brought together over 500 leaders from workforce investment boards, for-purpose organizations, and employers to focus on emerging trends in workforce development. The primary topic of conversation in 2016? Competency-based education, training, and hiring.

With the annual goal of the summit being to “close” the skills gap in America, speakers at the 2016 event dug into the growing emphasis on competencies, the need for new employment models, shifting hiring practices by employers, and the future of education. The Close It Summit can ultimately be considered as the epicenter for the shifting trends in competency-based education. From the conversations in keynotes, sessions, and conference exchanges, we compiled our top four learnings from the 2016 Close IT Summit below.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Employers, Education

How Stackable Credentials Can Improve Outcomes for Opportunity Youth

Posted by Erik Hensley on 10/6/16 2:11 PM

Take a moment to picture a “traditional education.” What does it consist of in your mind? Maybe you imagine it in terms of a timeline, with a student progressing from middle school to high school, and onto an apprenticeship or college, and then right into a career. While this is an idealized concept for receiving and education and beginning a career, there is a growing percentage of the population, particularly with youth ages 16-24, approaching education and career training in a more practical format. This new format is the stackable credentials approach.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Stackable Credentials

Takeaways from the 2016 NJCA Leadership Training Summit: The Keys to Building a Stronger, More Innovative Youth Workforce

Posted by Erik Hensley on 9/30/16 11:33 AM

Last week I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2016 NJCA Leadership Summit in Arlington, Virginia.  This annual conference brings together the Job Corps community comprised of workforce development experts, education practitioners, corporate partners, U.S. Department of Labor officials, Office of Job Corps leadership and staff, as well as members of Congress to discuss and develop strategies for enhancing Job Corps services.­

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

 

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