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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Recently, Penn Foster was honored with the recognition as a 2016 Tyton Growth50 company. The Tyton Growth50 celebrates innovative organizations achieving impact at scale through a combination of demonstrated outcomes across the preK"12, postsecondary, corporate training, and consumer education spaces. As one of 50 organizations selected this year, this achievement marks a significant milestone in Penn Foster's 126-year history in distance education.
Soft skills are defined as the personal attributes that help people interact effectively and harmoniously with others. These skills are important, yet have historically played a supporting role next to the essential hard skills required for any given profession. However, as the search for candidates with soft skills has grown increasingly challenging, employers have begun to focus on these attributes over the technical and job-specific skills they traditionally prioritized.
How much student data do you have available at your career school? You have access to demographics, GPAs, classes passed and failed, online course activity and many more metrics. These numbers aren't just for record keeping -- you can also predict student success and failure with student analytics tools.
In the professional world, employers seek a wide variety of worker competencies to ensure their workforce leads the business to success. While industry and occupation-specific competencies are important to performing well in a particular job setting, foundational competencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration as a prerequisite for workers to learn industry-specific skills, and provide the base for success in school and in the world of work.1
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Career college admissions departments are facing more recruiting challenges today than perhaps ever before. According to a recent study conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, enrollment among two-year educational institutions, including career colleges, decreased by 3.9%1 in 2015. This is likely why 36% of career colleges asked said that enrollment is their primary concern.
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972-2012 published in 2015, the average high school dropout costs the economy approximately $250,000 over his or her lifetime. With the average life expectancy of 79 years, this equates to $4,166 as an annual cost to the economy. Employers, educators, and government organizations are making purposeful commitments to providing pathways for young people who have aged out of compulsory school to achieve their high school diploma and prepare for the workforce or higher education. Here we touch upon how myriad stakeholders can help these students that have typically aged-out of the traditional k-12 system - and why they'd want to.
In April 2016, the White House announced the expansion of federal initiatives to connect students with in-demand jobs through free community college training.1 The America's Promise Job-Driven Training grants program will receive an additional $100 million to promote partnerships between community colleges and other training providers, employers, and public workforce systems to develop tuition-free training for middle-skilled and high-skilled positions in in-demand fields. Another $70 million will go toward the America's College Promise initiative to develop 27 new free community college programs. The success of initiatives such as this depends not only on funding, but also on effective promotional efforts to attract students and cultivate their interest. Here are some steps high school and college administrators and educators can take to help cultivate student interest in in-demand careers.
Smartphones have become part of the high school experience. Seventy-three percent of American teenagers now own smartphones, and one in four take their phones to school every day, according to Cell Phone City.1 Many educators are even welcoming their presence; 16 percent of schools now allow smartphones in the classroom, and educators are finding an increasing range of classroom applications for smartphone technology, including research and as an e-reader alternative. As high schools increasingly incorporate smartphone usage into the classroom, the phone usage behavior they help instill in students will begin to spill over into the workplace, making it important to teach students phone etiquette that will serve them in a workplace environment. Here are some phone etiquette lessons that high school educators can teach students to better prepare them for success in the workplace.
Your workforce board has a website, of course, but does it have a blog? Blogs can be used to post job hunting tips, job postings and internship opportunities. They can also be used to publicize your workforce board - for example, you could post articles that showcase services your center offers and your personnel. A well-maintained blog offers a number of compelling benefits to your workforce board; here are four of them:

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