John Shrader

John Shrader Joins Penn Foster as General Manager and Executive Vice President of Workforce Solutions

May 24, 2016

New Leader Brings Mix of Human Capital Management and Technology-Enabled Skills Development Expertise to Expanding Division of Penn Foster.

SCRANTON, PA, (May 24, 2016) — Penn Foster, Inc., a leading provider of skills training for frontline workers and career and college candidates, today named John Shrader as General Manager and Executive Vice President. He will have responsibility over Penn Foster's Workforce Solutions organization, providing employers, government and non-government organizations, and educational institutions with credentialed and customized skills development programs designed to develop work-ready candidates.

Shrader brings deep experience in the knowledge services sector, previously serving as a Vice President at SumTotal Systems, a leading provider of cloud-based strategic human capital management software. At SumTotal, he was responsible for overall management of several business units including US Federal Government, State business, and over 50 Global Channel Partners, which spanned across six continents. Shrader also supported over 190 sales staff on the global solution architect team. SumTotal was sold to Skillsoft, one of the world's largest corporate training providers, in 2014.

Shrader's commitment to education began with 10 years in the Kent School District in Seattle, Washington, with six of those years in service as an Elementary School Principal of over 600 students and 64 staff.

"Employers are continually challenged by the shortage of skilled workers to fill frontline jobs and it is our long-time mission at Penn Foster to help solve for this gap," said Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster. "With his extensive background delivering innovative, technology-enabled workforce training development solutions for employers, we are thrilled to have John join our leadership team driving our mission forward."

At Penn Foster, Shrader will accelerate momentum for Penn Foster's burgeoning employer training and workforce development solutions, which provides a suite of career-relevant diploma, certificate and degree programs in a mobile-first learning environment coupled with ongoing career support services for adult learners and opportunity youth. Penn Foster clients include thousands of employers across a wide range of industries including hospitality, manufacturing, transportation, and allied healthcare as well as government and non-government organizations including Workforce Development Investment Boards, Job Corps and YouthBuild USA.

"It is especially fulfilling to come aboard at Penn Foster, with its unprecedented 126-year history and massive scale of positive social outcomes today, graduating over 30,000 students each year having developed career-relevant skills," said Shrader. "The pieces are in place for us to align with employer needs, helping to 'upskill' current employees and build a pipeline of new talent with needed skills and credentials."

Shrader earned a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.Ed from Seattle University.

About Penn Foster
Students, employers and partner organizations rely on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the 21st century workforce. For over 125 years, Penn Foster has been dedicated to helping people lead more meaningful and productive lives and to improving social outcomes through education. Penn Foster provides career pathways for opportunity youth and adult learners through diverse and affordable online diploma, certificate and degree programs, offered via its high school, career school and college. With more than 30,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster's online and blended learning programs are delivered in a self-paced, competency-based model wrapped by comprehensive academic, professional and personal support and coaching. For more information, visit


The Close It Summit 2017

Join Penn Foster and hundreds of leaders in learning, recruitment, and workforce development for the 2017 Close It Summit to highlight and discuss competency-based education, training, and hiring. We’re excited to be part of two events at this year’s conference:

Penn Foster + Chicago CRED High School Graduation
Wednesday, September 27th at 11:00AM
Join Penn Foster and the Honorable Arne Duncan in celebrating the graduation of Chicago CRED participants from Penn Foster High School.

Workshop: “Why Now? A Case for Change”
Wednesday, September 27th at 3:00PM
Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt joins thought leaders to discuss how industry must change to meet the needs of the millennial worker and why addressing the skills gap now is imperative.



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