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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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.  
Institutions of higher education could soon face an existential crisis as more young people decide that college debt is too oppressive. A substantial number of them may even choose to skip the traditional college experience altogether. It might seem more appealing to get a job or start a business right after high school.
As many organizations face the growing challenge of a tightening talent market and generational shifts, it's important to think about how to retain those employees once they join your organization. And since "up to 20 percent of turnover occurs in the first 45 days" according to a recent SHRM article, getting the new hire experience right is crucial to your organization's success. Here are 4 ways new employees often struggle and what  you can do to ensure that they are progressing from the start.
Your hourly employees are the face of your quick-serve restaurant- responsible for the day-to-day interactions between your customers and your business. These positions are often plagued with high turnover rates and unfortunately, sometimes the people filling them fail to deliver the quality of service your brand promises. Training and skills development are excellent tools, but they should be thought of as tactics to enhance already-existing characteristics, ones that can't always be be taught. When hiring hourly employees for your restaurant, ensure they fit front-line job requirements by looking for these characteristics:
It probably comes as no surprise that confident employees tend to take more initiative at work and perform better at their jobs overall. Numerous experts confirm this; for example, Chron reports that employees who have confidence in their ability to get the job done are more engaged and motivated1 This is especially important in for QSRs, with an average industry turnover rate of 66% making it critical that managers improve employee engagement and, in turn, retention. Implement these simple tactics to improve confidence in your employees and reap the rewards of more productive and loyal workers.
A partnership is built by different parties having different traits and coming together to achieve success. We've found that our partnership with Penn Foster is building upon that success. On June 3, 2016 I had the privilege to co-present with Penn Foster at the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools (OACCS) 2016 Spring Workshop on how our partnership has helped our college reach into an untapped pool of potential students, and provide students a second chance to pursue post-secondary education. In Ohio, as in a growing number of other states, students must pass a state regulated exit exam as a final hurdle to obtain their high school diploma. Unfortunately in the Cleveland, OH area there are too many students who have failed that exam and essentially have no other option to pursue education. There is no reason for them to give up on their education any longer.
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Seven percent of American youth between the ages of 16 and 24 were not in school and had not earned a high school diploma or the equivalent as of 2013, according to the latest data available from the National Center for Education Statistics.1 To assist these young people, many school districts are offering high school reentry programs. Dr. Julia Wilkins, who specializes in helping youth with disabilities complete high school, studied the characteristics of a successful high school reentry program and summarized them in a report titled, "Reentry Programs for Out-of-School Youth With Disabilities."2 Here are five elements your high school reentry program should have to maximize student success:
Social responsibility continues to grow in importance for consumers. In a 2013 survey by Nielsen, 50 percent of customers said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services.1 As consumers become increasingly interested in the social impact of the companies behind the products and services they buy, companies are feeling the pressure to become more socially responsible. Luckily, there are varied approaches companies can take when they make an effort to benefit society at large. Take note from these socially responsible companies positively impacting their communities and growing their brand reputation.
In the spirit of "Aligning the Future," the theme of APSCU's (now CECU) 2016 Annual Conference on June 6th, Penn Foster joined the conversation by discussing the positive impact on non-traditional learners that  blended learning programs can produce for students. While introducing the findings from the Center for Promise's latest report on blended learning, we shared some of the best practices organizations have utilized when implementing successful blended approaches on their campuses.

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