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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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.  
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.

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