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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

The demand for front line employees with well-developed soft skills has never been higher. While technical skills have been and will always remain important, soft skills are the crucial capabilities for employees working in any industry. From retail to manufacturing, strong soft skills has become the number one requirement for incoming or newly hired employees.1
The Future Skills Summit sponsored by the Institute for the Future was held on February 21-22nd this year to help education and workforce development innovators "get fit for what's next." The premise of this year's summit is the idea of a "work + learn future," to outmode our current "degree-before-work paradigm" which is not sufficiently serving the job market at large. One of the key contributors to the summit, and the overall theme of work and learn, is Innovate+Educate founder, Jamai Blivin.
For career and community colleges, email marketing can be a major pillar of your overall acquisition and nurturing strategy. You spend hours writing, designing, and developing your emails. But are they reaching your target prospects? These 5 tips will help to ensure that your emails are not being stopped by spam filters, but are landing in the inbox.
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.

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