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The past couple of months have been a whirlwind for education, edtech, and workforce development, but one story has become increasingly prevalent: More and more companies have continued to invest in employee training, development, and education.
The time to train front line supervisors is now. In a piece published by Industry Today, Penn Foster's Head of Skilled Trades Division, Collin Gutman, explains the crucial need for front line supervisor training. While often selected to supervisor positions given their success as front line employees, Gutman shares how the skills needed by front line employee to supervisor aren't always aligned, making the transition both "bumpy and jarring." 
I recently had the pleasure of travelling to beautiful New London, N.C. to watch 100 young adults, varying in age from 17 to 19, walk proudly across a stage in front of an audience of friends and family as they received their certificate of graduation from Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy " New London. Penn Foster partners with Tarheel ChalleNGe to offer an accredited high school diploma through the program; I was invited to the ceremony to help celebrate the achievements of the 22 students in the class who were also receiving their Penn Foster High School Diploma.
The time has come to serve the middle skilled workforce in the United States. In an interview with Todd Hand of Boston Search Group, Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt explains the recent trends and future outlook for the workforce development industry. Highlighting the importance of upskilling and investing in the middle skilled, or "gray collar," cohort of workers, Britt's interview focuses on how organizations are finally becoming aware of this need for workforce development.
How to Work Together to Encourage " and Better Train " Workers Sitting on the Side Lines of a Full Employment Economy
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As technology continues to evolve at an incredibly fast rate, the role of staffing firms has changed with it. The average worker is finding it more and more difficult to stay current with the necessary skills to succeed in a labor market that's requiring more of them each and every day, and the result is a growing skills gap. As that gap widens, the role of staffing firms has become more important than ever. No longer are staffing firms able to simply play matchmaker between an employer and a prospective hire; in order to remain competitive, they must be able to cultivate highly qualified candidates and successfully find homes for them with the right organizations at the right time.
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Employee engagement is key to employee, and ultimately, company success. Effective managers, training and upskilling programs, and teambuilding can all contribute to higher employee engagement and therefore performance. However, regular goal setting is another crucial step for improving employee performance, and the practice should not be limited to January 1st or during annual reviews.
Businesses today are increasingly being faced with a similar challenge: The need for highly talented employees is moving at a much faster pace than the skills development of those employees. Rapid advancements in technology have completely changed the landscape of the modern labor market, and organizations have more of a responsibility than ever to ensure that they're working to help close this skills gap and giving their workers the ability to survive in a highly competitive environment. In Penn Foster's eBook, "Manufacturing Talent: The New Role for Apprenticeships in Today's Labor Market," author Collin Gutman details the work that is being done by several major organizations to pioneer the rebirth of the modern apprenticeship, dispels some common myths about apprenticeships, and offers a blueprint for success for businesses looking to launch their own programs.  
In today's rapidly-evolving labor market, many employers are struggling to attract and retain highly qualified and talented workers. In an article published in Talent Economy, Penn Foster CEO Frank Britt and Innovate+Educate Founder & CEO Jamai Blivin argue that, as a result of recent tax reform, businesses now have a greater opportunity and responsibility to address this growing skills gap by investing in the continuous development of their employees. With the shelf life of skills constantly shrinking and the durability of degrees dwindling, it's becoming increasingly more difficult for workers to keep their skills current.

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