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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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.
Last week Penn Foster had the honor of attending YouthBuild's 11th Annual Instructional Leadership Institute. This year's event, which took place from August 1-3, 2016 in Boston, MA, gathered together YouthBuild staff and educators from around the country to share best practices from the education field. This year's theme, "Everyone Leads, Everyone Educates" focused on strategies and approaches for YouthBuild program staff to lead and teach in ways that reach and empower all learners. In keeping with this theme, Penn Foster presented cutting-edge research on the impact of blended learning on non-traditional learners. Read on to learn about some of the best practices we discussed for implementing a blended learning program within a youth organization:
Ninety-two percent of job recruiters use social media to look for prospective hiring candidates, according to the latest annual Jobvite survey.1 This can make it easier for job seekers to connect with recruiters, but it can also make it easier for job candidates to make a bad first impression. Take, for instance, these stats from the Jobvite Social Recruiting survey:2
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.

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