What Skills Do Workers Need for the Future?

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 8/13/19 11:00 AM

It’s a truth not yet universally acknowledged that skills are more important than degrees in today’s economy. Proactive employers are reworking job postings and hiring processes to bring in applicants with the right aptitudes. They’re also training workers to improve vital competencies. It’s a step in the right direction. But are employers doing enough?

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Topics: Upskilling, soft skills, workforce development

Training Workers in Customer Service

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 7/31/19 11:00 AM

When you think customer service, you might think about such industries as retail, hospitality, and restaurants. In these industries, training workers in customer service is essential. At the same time, almost every industry could benefit from workers who have customer service training. 

An angry or dissatisfied customer can wreak havoc on your business’s reputation. The customers who make a fuss aren’t the only ones you have to worry about. You might also be losing customers who walk away quietly, or go out and complain to their friends about you. Either way, they’re hurting your business, and you may not even know it.

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Topics: Upskilling, soft skills, workforce development, Customer Service

What Manufacturing Employers Can Do Now to Fill Jobs

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 7/24/19 11:00 AM

When the average person thinks about manufacturing, they picture huge multinational corporations with hundreds of employees. However, most manufacturing companies are small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. If you’re running one of those small manufacturing facilities, you know first-hand how difficult it can be to find qualified employees. 

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Topics: Upskilling, Manufacturing, 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

How Can Your Business Be More Like IBM and Microsoft?

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 7/3/19 11:00 AM

The time has come to rethink hiring. If your company is using the same processes and requirements it was using 10 years ago, you’re probably struggling to find qualified candidates. You’re not alone. Businesses of all sizes are finding jobs hard to fill. Tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon are no exception. 

The difference is that these companies have woken up to the new reality. They know they can’t just keep doing the same old thing and expect success. That’s why they’ve been changing their hiring practices in the last few years. Maybe you should, too.

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Topics: Training, Skills Gap, workforce development

Skills Gap Deniers Suffer From A Narrow Definition of What the Skills Gap Is

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 6/26/19 11:00 AM

By now most corporations recognize that the United States is facing a skills gap. Yet there are still some people who refuse to believe the skills gap exists. While it’s tempting to claim that these skills gap deniers have some political agenda that can only succeed if the skills gap is proven false, the reality is that most people who don’t believe in the skills gap are looking at the problem too narrowly. 

The disagreement is understandable. Read a dozen articles on the skills gap and you’ll come away with at least six definitions of what the skills gap is. Some don’t even bother to define it, assuming a clear, shared understanding that simply doesn’t exist. 

To avoid that stumbling block, here is a definition to work from: the term skills gap defines the mismatch between the skills employers want employees to have and what applicants are actually able to do.

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Topics: Skills Gap, skills solution, workforce development

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

Opportunity Summit 2019: Reimagining Workforce When Our Future is Right in Front of Us

Posted by Ronald J. Stefanski on 5/3/19 5:57 AM

“There is an old African proverb: If you don’t embrace the young in your village, they will return later to burn it down for its warmth.”

At yesterday's 2019 Opportunity Summit, Andy Hall, COO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership, inspired the crowd with this adage at the opening session.

Keep it simple. Start with the end in sight. 

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, workforce training, workforce development

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

Bending the Arc of Potential: Creating Economic Mobility Through Innovation at the ASU GSV X Summit

Posted by Desiree Sinkevich on 4/17/19 11:00 AM

It’s no secret that the modern workforce is in flux. Advances in automation and technology continue to transform the American economy and with it, the skills required to secure meaningful work. Combined with a growing skills gap, the workforce landscape in the United States is changing at a rapid pace. The solution is complicated. It will require government reform and creating educational pathways that lead to a secure future, and will take the joined efforts of industry experts in education, training, and workforce development, in tandem with policy makers, to navigate the new skills economy. 

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Topics: workforce development, wage gain, ASU GSV Summit

 

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