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Dara Warn

Marketer, customer advocate, and believer in the value of education to change lives with experience in secondary, post-secondary and continuing education.

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When we partnered with one of the largest workforce specialist firms in the US - a company called EmployBridge, parent of six major brands including RemX, ProLogisitix, ResourceMFG, and Select Staffing, to support the launch of their Better WorkLife Academy, we were looking forward to serving a unique cohort of adult learners.  
Yesterday at the ASU GSV Summit in Salt Lake City UT, Penn Foster announced our exciting new collaboration with Roadtrip Nation, an organization that empowers individuals to pursue fulfilling careers, and Strada Education Network, a nonprofit dedicated to solving today's higher education and workforce challenges, on our Skills Forward Roadtrip! The Roadtrip will aim to engage and inspire America's next generation workforce while addressing the issue of the skills shortage for high demand skilled trades occupations.
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Low-income and low-opportunity high school students have reached a 74.6 percent graduation rate. These steady improvements are a step in the right direction, as targeted interventions help at-risk demographics to achieve their goals. However, their post-secondary education pathway is often challenging. High schools need to put resources in place to show low-income students feasible options for their post-graduation learning.
Testing in an online learning environment is taking on a new look with the expansion of new technology solutions to protect the integrity of online courses. Online proctoring services offer a way for schools to maintain the strict testing environment of a brick-and-mortar school, while also providing a more structured and convenient option for students. Below we take a look at Penn Foster's transition over to online proctoring, in an effort to continue building a modern distance learning opportunity for students across the nation.
Recently, we've been hearing a lot of buzz over how the "non-traditional student' is quickly becoming the new norm. Mission-based organizations and career-focused education providers are taking the helm to compile and disseminate information and profiles for this burgeoning archetype. We analyzed the key insights from two 2016 surveys on the modern-day learner: Barnes & Noble College Insights platform's report "Achieving Success for Non-traditional Students: Exploring the Changing Face of Today's Student Population," and Penn Foster's survey of 100,000+ high school, college, and career school students. Below we explore the key trends illustrated from these surveys, and why it makes a lot of sense to start seriously considering their needs when building education solutions for the upcoming generation:
Soft skills are defined as the personal attributes that help people interact effectively and harmoniously with others. These skills are important, yet have historically played a supporting role next to the essential hard skills required for any given profession. However, as the search for candidates with soft skills has grown increasingly challenging, employers have begun to focus on these attributes over the technical and job-specific skills they traditionally prioritized.
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.
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.
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.
Employers across a wide variety of industries report not having enough qualified candidates to fill their open positions. This talent shortage is expected to grow in the coming years, especially in fields that don't require a four-year degree. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of jobs requiring associate's degrees will grow 17.6 percent during the decade between 2012 and 2022.1 As the demand for workers with associate's degrees, career diplomas and career certificates grows - particularly in healthcare, technology and the skilled trades - employers will find a growing pool of career college graduates on the job market. Here are three great reasons to hire them.

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