Valuing Competency: How Businesses Thrive in the Skills Economy

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 5/8/19 11:00 AM

Imagine a future in which employers focus more on skills competencies than on degrees when hiring new employees. While in some industries, that future may be far off, for middle-skills industries that are hit the hardest by the skills gap -- industries like allied health, manufacturing, the trades, and tech -- this new way of measuring candidate readiness might just be the solution they’re looking for.

Technology is changing the world of work faster than it ever has before. The degree a student earned five years ago, might not translate well to the workplace of today. This isn’t just true for technical jobs. Technology is changing the way we communicate with our customers and within our organization. It’s shifting the daily demands of work toward less repetitive and more collaborative and creative tasks. It’s even changing customer and employee expectations in a way that businesses couldn’t have predicted 10 years ago.

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Topics: workplace competencies, Skills Gap

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

Penn Foster is a Finalist for the $1B Wage Gain Challenge

Posted by Penn Foster on 3/28/19 2:00 PM

After the Great Recession in 2008, America slowly recovered from a high level of unemployment and businesses were moving toward booming once more. But despite an improving economy, median household income has barely budged since 1999, when it hit an average of $60,000. The median income from the 2017 U.S. Census was reported at $61,372. That’s a gain of $1,372, or 2.29% over 18 years. This incremental wage growth is unable to sustain the ideals behind the American Dream: meaningful work and economic advancement opportunities for all.

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Topics: Upskilling, Skills Gap, workforce training, wage gain

At SXSW EDU, Penn Foster to Tackle the Skills Gap and Talent Development

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/5/19 4:58 PM

When engaged stakeholders gather to discuss the future of teaching and learning, Penn Foster is naturally right in the middle of things. We’ll be sharing what we know, learning from other industry leaders, and contributing to two programs at this year’s SXSW EDU conference in Austin, TX.

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Topics: Skills Gap, workforce training, SXSW EDU

3 Ways to Stay Competitive in the 2019 Hiring Market

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 1/30/19 11:00 AM

The United States ended 2018 with some of the lowest unemployment rates seen in decades. This great news for the economy brings challenges for businesses trying to fill open positions or expand their workforce. Coupled with the low employment rate, the skills gap has also made hiring all the more difficult for employers. Tackling these challenges starts with exploring new strategies to help your business stay competitive in the 2019 hiring market.

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Topics: Upskilling, Skills Gap, Staffing

The Role of Public Libraries in Upskilling and Workforce Development

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 1/25/19 1:00 PM

If you walk into a public library today, you will likely encounter a very different environment than the libraries of your childhood.

No longer a place just to borrow books, public libraries have evolved in recent years to become hubs of lifelong learning providing classes, workshops, access to digital resources, and even access to the internet for those that do not have it at home.

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Topics: Upskilling, Skills Gap, workforce training, Libraries, workforce development

Manufacturers Look for Ways to Close Increasing Skills Gap

Posted by Amanda Barba on 1/23/19 1:00 PM

The manufacturing industry is currently facing a workforce crisis that could potentially leave millions of lucrative jobs unfilled in years to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reports, there are about 488,000 open manufacturing jobs in the United States. While the number of open jobs has decreased month over month, the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs is projected to continue to rise in the coming years. This trend could have a lasting effect on not only manufacturing in the United States, but also the overall economic growth in our country.

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Topics: Skills Gap, Apprenticeship, workforce training

Want to Close the Manufacturing Skills Gap? Think Digital Certificates.

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 1/16/19 11:00 AM

Make no mistake, the skills gap is real. Ask anyone trying to fill jobs in the manufacturing industry. The pace of technological change means that many people misunderstand the skills that are needed, and some who have them don’t see manufacturing as a viable option.

The debate over how to close the skills gap has yielded suggestions ranging from new legislation to hip, millennial-focused PR efforts. Perhaps all of these are needed to create a robust skills force for the future.

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Topics: Upskilling, Skills Gap, career certificates

How Apprenticeships Are Helping Close Today's Skills Gaps

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 1/2/19 1:30 PM

Apprenticeships have almost reached the status of a buzzword in the discussion over how to close the skills gap. State Senators are introducing bills to make apprenticeships more accessible to high school students. Meanwhile, officials in Maryland are expanding a high school apprenticeship program that started in two counties out to the rest of the state.

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Topics: Upskilling, Skills Gap, workforce training

Do Your Employees Need a Skills Bootcamp?

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 12/6/18 9:55 AM

In almost every industry, for almost every business, finding qualified middle-skills candidates to fill open jobs is difficult. The low unemployment rate isn’t helping. Jobs are harder to fill and keeping existing employees is more important than ever. Meanwhile, rapid changes in technology and the development of new ways of doing business, mean that even existing employees may not have the right skill sets.

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Topics: Upskilling, soft skills, Skills Gap, career certificates, workforce training

 

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