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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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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When we profiled them earlier this year, Project YouthBuild had successfully partnered with Penn Foster to implement a blended learning solution that provided a new option for their young people to earn their high school diploma while creating pathways to college & career success. We recently checked-in with Project YouthBuild and found that they have continued to experience success with the program. At the end of the year, a cohort of 18 students who started the program, a record 93% have completed the program with nearly 75% of the graduates planning to pursue post-secondary education, with many graduates enrolling in the highly ranked Santa Fe Community College. Post-secondary programs these graduates plan to enroll in include, but are not limited to, automotive, allied health, technology, and business.
There has been a lot of conversation in the media about the "battle for talent." With turnover rates for foodservice employees already reaching 110%, the need to retain talent is greater than ever for restaurants. Following a review of the data from the recently published Restaurant Industry Report: Strategies for Reducing Turnover, I reflected on this growing challenge. Here are three approaches to keeping employees engaged and committed to your organization:
As we discussed in part one of the series, the term Power Skills encompasses both the personal effectiveness and workplace skills needed for professional success. To differentiate between the subsets of personal effectiveness skills, we define personal skills as those that are specific to the individual. On the other hand, people skills refer to how an individual interacts with others.

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