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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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.  
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.

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