As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and caused the US unemployment rate to spike to levels even higher than those seen during the Great Recession, Dr. Robert Jordan knew his nonprofit organization, Constituent Services Worldwide (CSW), was uniquely positioned to help the Greater Washington, D.C. area in this time of need. Formed after Dr. Jordan’s two-term administration as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner ended in 2011, CSW is a “multi-faceted Public Benefit Corporation designed to be a catalyst for government initiatives and resource for private sector clients.”
The organization’s Constituent Services consist of grant-funded, in-house training programs designed to lead unemployed and underemployed individuals toward earning credentials that help them gain job-ready skills. As such, Dr. Jordan saw a clear opportunity to meet the current needs of their constituents by partnering with Penn Foster to offer an array of career training courses across a variety of industries.
“With so many people out of work as a result of the pandemic, we noticed that there was a new avenue for us to help people learn the skills they need to get back on their feet,” said Dr. Jordan. “Penn Foster’s online learning solution was the perfect fit to help us accomplish that goal.”
The partnership, which launched earlier this summer, offers over 30 courses in areas like skilled trades, information technology, health and wellness, business, and more. And by working directly with local offices of Employment and Human Services, CSW is making it easy for prospective students to get started.
“We’re connected and working closely with those folks [at the Offices of Employment and the Offices of Human Services] to meet students where they are already going to look for work,” Dr. Jordan explained. “All they need to do is look online for the program of their choice, and they can enroll directly through their local branch.”
CSW is thinking not only of how to react to the immediate need of getting people back to work, but also about the future of the workforce. By providing access to education for learners remotely, workers can continue to enroll in programs that help them gain the specific skills they need to qualify for future in-demand jobs – all on their own time.
To learn more about the work that CSW and Penn Foster are doing to help D.C. residents get back to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore the programs being offered, visit partner.pennfoster.com/CSW.