Home > Blog

The Penn Foster Blog

Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Mike Lewis, entrepreneur and author, recently collaborated with Penn Foster Education in an informative and motivational webinar titled "Make Your Jump." Lewis, a graduate of Dartmouth, left a prestigious job at a venture capital firm to pursue his passion-playing squash professionally. He teamed up with a panel of diverse Penn Foster students to share their stories and speak to the barriers that often hold them back from tackling their career goals. Though the insights gleaned from the conversation between Lewis and Penn Foster students Rocco, Brittney, and Kathy encourage other students and peers to make the jump toward the career they want, there are a few key takeaways that can inform the way employers approach career development for their employees. 
LearnLaunch recently held their 6th "Across Boundaries"  conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Originally held in a large lecture hall at MIT (I was there!), it has grown to 1100+ participants that draws interest on a national and even international scale (this year featured an "international pitch session" with EdTech start-ups from abroad participating). A wide variety of educators, education administrators, entrepreneurs, investor, education companies and technology innovators all come together due to the shared interest in driving innovation to transform learning and increase achievement using digital technologies.
In the retail industry, it can be difficult to find and retain reliable employees who have a developed set of soft skills. Whether hires simply don't work out or leave to look for different career opportunities, low retention rates make finding strong leaders you trust to run the day-to-day operations of your business nearly impossible. One solution to boost retention rates and prepare your employees to take on leadership roles is investing in comprehensive soft skills training. 
It's a scene that plays out on factory floors, in warehouses, and at work sites across the country: a talented worker is promoted to a supervisor position, but struggles to adapt to the new role & responsibilities. While they were skilled at their previous position - which is why they were identified for promotion in the first place - moving to a management role presents a slew of new challenges and requires these supervisors to develop a variety of new skills. Indeed, a recent study be BearingPoint, a consultancy, found that 60% of frontline supervisors underperformed in their first two years.1 Moreover, 81% of frontline supervisors themselves stated that they were not satisfied with their own performance.2
Penn Foster is thrilled to be attending and speaking at LearnLaunch Institute's 2018 Across Boundaries Conference next week (February 1-2) at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. Last year's conference welcomed a record number of attendees, numbering over one thousand participants representing thirty-three states. As we near the sixth annual conference, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with so many innovators in the edtech industry.
Parties often take on an energy and life all their own. Hosting a Jazz it Up in the D Celebration to honor Brenda Jones' (left) re-election as president of Detroit City Council had that distinct energy that comes from a capacity crowd watching performers up close when they put their unique talents together in creative ways. The Stephen Grady Junior Jazz Trio was on hand at our home as we welcomed over 125 captivating artists, community and business leaders and friends to celebrate the next chapter for Detroit. Stephen Jr. and friends Jake and Rocco thrilled the audience with their riffs on sax, bass and guitar. Clearly, they have skills!
Penn Foster's Child Development Associate Undergraduate Certificate has recently been awarded the CDA Gold Standard by the Council for Professional Recognition. As a non-profit organization, the Council for Professional Recognition's mission is to recognize and promote professionals and organizations that are making strides in the early childhood education sector.
My father was a career merchant at Montgomery Ward's department store in its heyday. Whenever he talked about his job, he always said, "retail is detail." A walk through any retail store in December validated his point: Getting the merchandise mix right in the stores, figuring out how to keep this year's hot items in stock, the logistics and crush of operational details all handled in the crunch of the holiday push, where companies' entire profits are decided in the span of eight weeks-all these incredible details push retail veterans to their limits, especially in an industry disrupted by technology, growing online players, and changing trends. All the more reason to capture some of the more important details at this year's NRF Foundation Gala.
"Is this it? Is this what the rest of my life is going to look like?" This is a question that many of us ask ourselves - and one that all of us will reckon with at one point or another. It's also a questions that it's irrevocably tied to our passions. Young or old, we all have passions that drive us and that truly make us happy. But, if we're not currently following our passion, be it in our studies or our careers, how do we know when it's the right time to jump towards them?
When we partnered with one of the largest workforce specialist firms in the US - a company called EmployBridge, parent of six major brands including RemX, ProLogisitix, ResourceMFG, and Select Staffing, to support the launch of their Better WorkLife Academy, we were looking forward to serving a unique cohort of adult learners.  

Search Our Blog Posts

Get the latest on skills, talent, and economic opportunity

Connect With Penn Foster

Human Resources Today