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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

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.
Unemployment dropped dramatically over the past few years, holding steady at 5 percent through the first quarter of 2016. While this is good news for the economy as a whole, it makes the job more difficult for staffing professionals. In this bullish job market, recruiters find themselves battling significant obstacles when it comes to attracting and retaining highly qualified candidates.
Non-English speakers face a dilemma in leveraging the opportunities your workforce board provides; they may be some of the people most in need of your services, but the least likely to take advantage of them due to language barriers. Serve those who speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese or any other language spoken in your community by hiring bilingual employees. Let's look at how hiring bilingual employees benefits your clients and your career center:
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For many Americans, "higher education" still means a four-year degree. However, with unemployment hovering around 5.5 percent and with many students graduating from four-year institutions unable to find jobs, our perception of the costs and benefits of education needs to change. Degrees that prepare students for middle-skilled careers are often ignored or rejected, but education leaders need to realize that, as valuable as four-year degrees may be, they are not practical for every student, especially given that these students are saddled with an average of $26,600 of debt overall,1 and $32,700 when graduating from for-profit colleges.2
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Keeping students motivated as the end of the school year approaches is notoriously challenging. There's even a quasi-official term for it when it happens during their senior year: "senioritis." Seniors may experience end-of-the-year apathy more intensely than other students, but all grade levels face the same issue and pose the same challenge to educators.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management webcast2 titled, "Energize and Engage: How Inclusion Supercharges Employee Satisfaction and Performance," the five most common mistakes of leaders as they relate to engagement are:
So, you want to make sense of your data -- maybe it's some daily lead data like we have right here " but the problem is, when you put it on a graph, it just looks like noise. Weekdays and weekends confuse the issue, and confuse our understanding of what's really going on underneath the surface. Right?                      
Client reviews play an important role in promoting your workforce investment board's career center online and improving your search ranking. Review signals contribute 8.4 percent to how Google ranks your site, according to a Moz analysis of local search engine ranking factors.1 Reviews also influence whether prospective clients will attend your events and make use of your services - 85 percent of consumers now read online reviews when considering local businesses, and 79 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal research.2 Even negative reviews are important, because they provide you with feedback you can use to improve your center. Here are five ways workforce centers can encourage their current clients to provide honest online reviews to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Development of your in-store managers is a critical piece in the retention strategy. According to a report by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), companies that offer comprehensive training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training.1 By providing employees with the skills they need to succeed, their confidence and motivation will improve and ultimately result in a better customer experience.
Employment-focused education for "middle-skill" occupations is becoming increasingly relevant. More than 850,000 K-12 students in the U.S. are classified as "vocational," which encompasses CTE fields and makes up just around 2% of total students. The cost to educate these students is nearly $14,000 or 20-40% greater than that of traditional academic instruction. In recent years, approximately $13 billion has been spent annually by federal, state and local governments to support youth-focused vocational education systems across the U.S., with federal funding constituting only about 4-8% percent of all state and local spending.1 This is in addition to the $16 billion post-high school trade and technical school-industry.

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