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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Blended learning programs - those that combine online and in-class teaching methods - have grown increasingly popular in recent years. According to the Evergreen Education Group's 2015 annual Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning report, nearly all K-12 school districts around the country now use online learning to some degree.1 By 2019, half of all high school courses will be delivered over the Internet.2 Additionally, nearly one in four college students take at least one online learning course.3
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Completing high school is challenging enough in ideal situations, but an increasing number of students are facing extracurricular responsibilities that make finishing high school even harder. Coming from a foster child background, having to work to support a family, growing up in a military family, and pregnancy are just some of the challenges that make finishing high school harder for many students. For instance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 percent of teenage girls who fail to complete high school cite pregnancy or parental responsibilities as the main reason.1 Among girls who have a child before age 18, only 40 percent finish high school.
Women are drastically underrepresented in the skilled trades, and it's hurting them financially. Consider these facts:
Common misconception: Once an individual learns the technical skills required of a particular trade, this person is also ready to succeed in their career. Unfortunately, many employees who enter the workforce lack the essential skills needed to thrive in a professional setting. According to a new report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 68% of HR professionals report having a difficult time recruiting in today's talent market.1  Within such a competitive market, what can organizations do to prepare the next generation of workers to be career-ready? 
The responsibilities of a workforce investment board are vast, and chief among them is to oversee local career centers where job seekers can find employment information and connect to career development and training opportunities in the area. To do this well, WIBs need a clear understanding of the needs of the community they serve. Launch a proactive effort to unearth the needs of the people in your community with these four tips:
Inmate reentry programs are, by design, intended to provide a smooth transition for convicts heading back into civilian life. These programs often include a range of components such as drug or alcohol treatment, anger management, spiritual counseling, parenting classes, and classes on budgeting/financial health. Increasingly, many correctional facilities are discovering that a high school diploma is another vital component that supports inmate reentry.
Penn Foster is proud to introduce a suite of Common Core aligned curriculum into our single high school course offerings. With these courses, youth organizations, employers, and secondary school partners will be able to further prepare students for post-secondary success by promoting deeper learning, critical thinking, and problem solving. The introduction of these common core courses is aimed at improving student outcomes both during their time with Penn Foster and in their endeavors afterwards.
Students who were homeschooled for high school are exceptionally college-ready, according to U.S. News & World Report.1 In a study conducted by Dr. Michael Cogan of the University of St. Thomas2, 66.7 percent of homeschooled students went on to graduate from four-year colleges, compared to 57.5 percent of their peers who attended traditional high school. Although homeschooled students are ready for college, career college recruiters face a challenge attracting them, since promotional strategies geared toward traditional high school students may not reach homeschooled audiences. Career colleges seeking to attract homeschooled students must take measures specifically designed to reach this target market. Here are five ways career college recruiters can reach out to homeschooled students.
Corporate training has historically been offered as a perk for white-collar employees. But with free, educational content being made readily available and a culture of constant learning influencing our everyday lives - a subtle but significant shift is happening across the workforce. Companies interested in offering upskilling opportunities to their employees are beginning to recognize that "gray collar" and blue collar jobs also require training dollars. By distributing funds out to reach all employees, and by focusing on building greater, more robust, personalized, and flexible training programs, companies should benefit greatly by empowering their entire workforce.
Last week, Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit working to ensure educational and economic opportunity, hosted its first annual summit. Entitled Voices for Opportunity and Economic Mobility, the summit brought together over 650 educators, employers, funders, policymakers, and researchers in conversation and collaboration on how to push forward the initiatives needed to improve economic mobility. The engagement at the panels and workshops of the summit was exceptional and sought to give all members of the educational ecosystem a common language with which to work.  

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