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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Innovation and adaptability keep the world of industry constantly moving forward, expanding business opportunities, offering more jobs, and nurturing a growing global economy. Advances in technology over the last few decades, however, have simultaneously created new jobs while rendering many other positions obsolete. Worry over automation and artificial intelligence replacing low and middle-skilled work has troubled a workforce that has been historically confident in their job security. But the digitalization of formerly analog positions is only the most recent "revolution" in a series of changes over the last several hundred years. For businesses looking to retain loyal employees and become competitive in hiring, embracing change and implementing comprehensive training programs is essential.
The creation of  a national movement that can better connect education, career pathways, and job creation - while also promoting affordable learning - will take the collaboration and cooperation of as many private and public sector players as possible. It's going to take a renewal of American spirit and a determined collective effort, the inspiration for which can found in Charles Dickens' classic: A Christmas Carol.
2017 was an exciting year at Penn Foster! As we approach the holidays, we are grateful for the opportunity we've had to reach over 110,000 learners this year, many through partnerships with leading educators, employers, and human services agencies. Additionally, we are proud to have helped nearly 43,000 students graduate from Penn Foster with a diploma, certificate, or degree. All of our students have experienced educational opportunities that can shape their futures for the better. And our partners have played a pivotal role in their opportunities and successes.
The recruitment and employee development landscape is rapidly changing, due to a new focus on skills and learning credentials. The reliance on a traditional job description and looking for certain college degrees to judge candidate quality is an outdated procedure. Likewise, employee development has evolved significantly. As we head into 2018, here are the top three recruiting and employee development trends to watch out for:
Veterinary medicine has long been a thriving industry. Every pet owner wants to ensure their animal companion is at peak health. Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians study long and hard to learn how to properly diagnose and treat our furry friends. They're very obviously vital to a thriving veterinary practice. But just as necessary is the Veterinary Practice Manager, the person who can confidently and efficiently run a practice. We spoke with Dr. James Hurrell (more commonly known as Dr. Jim to the students and staff at Penn Foster), an expert in veterinary medicine, to learn more about why veterinary practices need managers who aren't the practice owner and how Penn Foster's new Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate can help grow a strong practice.
Pursuing higher education is often times considered to be a necessary path for attaining and maintaining a satisfying and sustainable career. Following the script of the American Dream - the idea that any hard working, ambitious individual can pursue and achieve their career goals - students matriculate to a university or college near them very soon after completing their high school diploma.
Since 2015, Church's Chicken's Stride for Success program, offered through a collaboration with Penn Foster, has enabled employees to earn their high school diploma online, providing a path toward advancement and career success. By allowing employees the opportunity to complete their high school diploma requirements, Church's Chicken provides a clearly marked path to a stable future with the company. Not only assisting employees in reaching their goals, Stride for Success and similar corporate learning programs empower those enrolled and can ease the burden of the high turnover rates the food industry is known for.
In-depth employee training and education is necessary for almost every industry. Well-trained employees will benefit your company long-term by being confident and skilled in their positions. Employees who are confident in their level of training and skill, who know that they are working toward a fulfilling career with opportunity for growth, are more likely to stay. Lower turnover rates can improve productivity, productivity, and product quality. Offering comprehensive training courses to your employees can translate into more profit in the long term and a more positive workforce in the immediate future.
While the number of available jobs in the United States is growing, employers are struggling to fill vacancies due to a lack of workers with the right skills. Overemphasis on the bachelor's degree as the gold standard postsecondary credential has led to an insufficient number of prospective employees with the appropriate skills. To close the skills gap, academic institutions offering short-term career diploma, certificate and degree programs need to take a new approach.
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Last week, we examined the importance of having employees with well developed soft skills, and laid out the first two steps for developing an employee soft skills training program. First, you should perform a training needs assessment to identify which soft skills your training program should focus on. After that, it's critical to clearly define the performance goals you're hoping to impact with this training program.

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