SCRANTON, PA (January 15, 2019) — Penn Foster, which partners with employers to attract, develop, and retain talent in high-growth middle-skill fields, today announced the appointment of Marie Davis in the newly created role of Director, National Employer Partnerships. Davis joins Penn Foster with more than 20 years of experience in education and skills training, serving most recently as Executive Director of the 100k Opportunities Initiative, an employer-led coalition built to serve America’s nearly 5 million opportunity youth.
“Marie understands that as the labor market continues to tighten, individual opportunity and corporate competitiveness are two sides of the same coin,” said Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster. “Her frontline experience helping employers bridge middle-skill gaps will play a central role in our efforts to help recruiters reduce costly churn by identifying and developing untapped talent.”
As head of the 100k Opportunities Initiative, Davis built a consortium of employers including CVS Health, Starbucks, and Walmart, which established best practices for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of opportunity youth aged 16-24 who are out of school and not working. She previously served as National Recruiting Manager at Chipotle, where she established hiring and training programs for 80,000 new employees at more than 2,000 restaurants nationwide. Prior to joining Chipotle, Davis spent more than two decades in various roles at Johnson & Wales University, including as Director of Admissions and Director of Career Services, where she led the university’s partnerships with Marriott, Disney, and Carnival Cruise lines, among others.
In this newly created role, Davis will build a national network of employer and philanthropic partners and help connect them to the more than 200,000 learners Penn Foster serves each year, supporting the organization’s mission of empowering youth and adult learners while helping employers address talent shortages and increase retention.
“Closing skill and equity gaps starts with addressing communications gaps that often exist among employers, job seekers, nonprofits, and educational institutions. This work is about collaboration, as much as it is about innovation,” said Davis. “Penn Foster’s expertise at the intersection of education and employment is critical to addressing both the challenges and opportunities, of creating new career pathways for job-seekers -- while helping employers identify workers with the skills they need.”
Penn Foster’s self-paced curriculum in fast-growing middle-skill fields, including allied health, skilled trade, retail, and hospitality, is used by more than 200,000 learners each year. Through partnerships with leading employers and workforce organizations, from Penske Corporation to the Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Penn Foster provides training and reskilling programs that support recruiting and retention efforts -- while expanding access to economic opportunity.
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