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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Among numerous challenges facing restaurants of all types is retaining top talent. Retention is a strategic goal within organizations that's discussed among groups and departments on a regular basis. In my position as Director of Human Resources for a restaurant brand, I am responsible for leading this initiative. It is especially challenging in the restaurant industry, where turnover trends are high.
Youth employment rates are rising. The unemployment rate for young people fell to 10.3 percent in January, down from an all-time high of 19.5 percent in April 2010, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported in Trading Economics1. However, these gains are primarily among youth who are out of school; those who are trying to simultaneously go to school and work are still struggling to balance both demands, a Child Trends Databank report observes2. If your organization is trying to connect youth with jobs, the success of your program depends heavily on securing support from local businesses. Here are a few ways youth programs can make local businesses more motivated to hire their programs' participants.
Peer-to-peer recognition programs are becoming increasingly popular in the quick-service restaurant and retail industries. While top-down recognition still goes a long way, getting acknowledged by one's coworkers is also a powerful way to increase motivation and job satisfaction. More motivated and satisfied employees will in turn deliver a better brand experience, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.
For workforce boards seeking to draw youth to your career centers, social media is one of the best recruitment tools you have. A whopping 92 percent of teens go online daily, a Pew Research Center found.1 Fifty-six percent go online more than once a day and 24 percent are online "almost constantly." Among teens who go online, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are the most popular social media networks; 71 percent of teens use Facebook, 52 percent use Instagram, 41 percent use Snapchat and 33 percent use Twitter. For your social media marketing strategy to be effective, you need to target these channels.
To date, a lot of good has been done for Career Technical Education (CTE). Lives have been changed and skills have been built, as institutions and dedicated faculty have been well-preparing students for careers in CTE.  In this series, we'll talk about how to build on the strong foundation of CTE and evolve the system while innovating for the future.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the first annual Academic Advisory Council at the New Hampshire Job Corps center, in Manchester New Hampshire. The council was held to foster an open dialogue between community stakeholders and identify academic best practices for increasing literacy and numeracy levels. During our visit, we also had the chance to celebrate the success of the center's very first Penn Foster High School graduate, Tyler Eaton, and present Tyler with his diploma during the monthly all students awards ceremony.
Welcome to my inaugural blog post for Penn Foster! Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the  excellent and informative 2016 Southwest Pathways Conference. It was the 2nd annual conference hosted by the Global Pathways Institute that focuses on collaboration between educators, workforce development, and industry to provide young people, especially those disconnected from both school and work, the necessary tools to lead productive and successful lives.
There are a number of factors contributing to the need for workforce boards to expand the reach of their programs: economic conditions, an oversupply of job seekers, underemployment, the need for skilled workers and growing expectations of funders and stakeholders. To meet this challenge, it falls upon workforce center directors to drive recruitment outreach. Here are seven strategies workforce center directors can implement to help their case managers recruit more clients.
Being a first-generation student at a post-secondary school can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. In addition to the pressure of changing their family landscape, first-generation students often lack the support and encouragement that traditional students have. According to The Atlantic, youth who are the first in their families to go to school are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation1. Many first-generation students are also balancing families and work obligations along with their studies, making support from their school vital.
For the past two years, Penn Foster has had the privilege of attending the YouthBuild National Directors Association (NDA) Meeting. This year's meeting will take place next week in Arlington, VA and we're excited to  continue to build upon the strong relationships we've developed with YouthBuild USA and many of the YouthBuild programs nationwide. The two-day conference will be full of YouthBuild and industry updates, professional development seminars, award ceremonies, and a myriad of networking opportunities.

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