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

The True ROI of Company Sponsored Learning

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 6/19/19 11:00 AM

High-profile business leaders know the value of employee training. PwC Chairman Tim Ryan told the Wall Street Journal, “In the next three years, upskilling will be a required employee benefit just like a 401(k) or health care.” The promise of training helps you attract great employees when included as part of your benefits package. But employees aren’t the only ones to benefit. Your business can realize a positive return on investment by offering learning and development opportunities for your employees.

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Topics: Training, Upskilling, workforce development

How Does Online Learning Work for Working Learners?

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 6/12/19 11:00 AM

You might already be convinced that giving your employees access to training and educational opportunities is good for them and good for your business. Now you have to decide what kind of learning opportunities to offer them. Should you hire an in-house trainer? Partner with a local community college? Provide tuition assistance for a traditional four-year institution? Online learning is becoming more and more popular. Is that an avenue worth exploring? 

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Topics: Training, Upskilling, working learners

2019 Commencement: Celebrating Outcomes and Learner Achievement

Posted by Penn Foster on 6/6/19 11:00 AM

The culmination of months or years of focus, rearranged schedules, and late night studying is a noteworthy achievement for any graduate, but is often even more so for those learners who pursue their goals outside of a traditional school setting. Whether through employer-sponsored upskilling and workforce development initiatives or personal efforts to start a new career path or advance within their current company, these learners are working toward a tangible outcome: improving their lives through education. And though that outcome alone is acknowledgement of success, there’s nothing that feels quite the same as walking across a stage with fellow graduates, family and friends: a cheering cacophony in the background. In fact, commencement ceremonies have become so ingrained in the culture of education that, without it, the dedication and work that lead a student to successfully complete their course almost feels like a cliffhanger ending in a movie with no sequel.

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Topics: Education, Upskilling, commencement

Veterinary Practices Increase Profits with Training

Posted by Dr. Jim Hurrell on 5/30/19 12:00 PM

Those drawn to the veterinary medical field are often motivated primarily by their passion and dedication to animals and their well-being. From a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) to a veterinary technician or veterinary assistant, working with animals is more than a way to earn a paycheck - it’s also about doing work that can make a positive impact on patients and their humans. Veterinary practices, whether corporate or private, that employ trained and credentialed veterinary technicians can build a team that is not only devoted to their work, but confident in their ability to effectively do that work. Even better, that confidence and passion for what they do can have a positive impact on the practice’s gross revenue. While these profits may not be the most important motivator to veterinarians and veterinary technicians, it does ensure that the practice can grow, develop, and maintain a high standard of quality patient care.

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Topics: Upskilling, Veterinary, Credentialing

How to Grow Employees for Success

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 5/1/19 11:00 AM

It’s no secret that finding skilled talent is getting harder. For decades, the labor pool had been more of a labor stream. It flowed in a predictable direction and employers knew where the best fishing spots were. Students graduated from high school, went to college, then were hooked by employers who gave them a job and, in many cases, a lifelong career. In this system, schools were responsible for educating and training. All businesses had to do was stand at their trusted fishing spot and catch whatever came by.

As anyone who has been in business over the last decade or so can tell you, the old fishing spots aren’t yielding like they used to. In 2018, the number of job openings in the U.S. rose to its highest level in almost two decades. That means more than 7.34 million job went unfilled in December.  It would be nice to be able to blame someone for this change in the market. It’s easy to blame the schools, the students, or the workers, but none of them are really at fault. At least, not entirely.

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Topics: Upskilling, Apprenticeship, workforce development

Employers: Setting Clear Expectations for New Hires Saves You Money

Posted by Desiree Sinkevich on 4/25/19 11:00 AM

High employee turnover is a growing issue in a myriad of industries, from manufacturing to retail, and can cost a company over 30% of annual wages per vacant position. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that it takes forty-two days, on average, to fill an open position and the cost-per-hire hovers around $4,129. Recruiting and retaining quality candidates is a priority for employers and, in order to find top talent that will offer a return on their investment, some are using a sense of exclusivity to cull the herd of applicants. However, in order to hire and keep employees who are passionate about what they do and who will grow with the company, transparency and inclusivity are a must. “Find a reason to hire a candidate,” Marie Davis, Penn Foster’s Director of National Employer Partnerships, says, “not a reason to turn them away.”

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers, Upskilling

Upskilling 2.0: The Rise of Working Learners and Learning Workers

Posted by Desiree Sinkevich on 4/11/19 11:00 AM

The concept that a four-year university degree is the only path that leads to meaningful, lucrative employment is outdated. In many ways, it’s an ideal that can’t keep pace with the swift technological advancement that is impacting employers and workers in a variety of industries. Employers struggle to find trained talent to fill skilled or middle-skilled roles. Workers, many of whom rely on steady employment and income, can’t afford to take time from that work to learn in a classroom setting, let alone pay the exorbitant tuition of colleges and universities. And, if they do take that time, the degree earned doesn’t necessarily provide them with the skills that employers look for, leaving many workers underemployed at best.

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Topics: Upskilling, workforce development, Shift Happens 2

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

Why Middle Skills Employers Should Care About the Labor Force Participation Rate

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 3/13/19 12:00 PM

The labor force participation rate might seem like one of those statistics that’s more interesting to governments than it is to business leaders. However, in a tight labor market, with an unemployment rate of just 4%, employers should be concerned to learn that there are millions of potential employees in the prime of their working life who don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one. What’s worse, a disproportionate number of these people are middle skills workers.

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Topics: Upskilling, workforce training, labor force participation

 

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