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Rachel Levy Wexler

VP, Product Management and Content

Rachel is the Vice President of Product Management and Content at Penn Foster. In this role, she is responsible for the creation and instructional design of the programs, as well as the product strategy that ensures alignment among Penn Foster’s offerings and students’ and employers’ needs. With more than 15 years of experience consulting to and managing educational product teams, Rachel has held leadership roles at Pearson, The Princeton Review, Pri-Med, and a number of education startups. Rachel is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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It's no secret that the healthcare industry is growing exponentially in the United States. With an aging Baby Boomer population, the industry as a whole is expected to expand by 19% in the next decade, adding over 2.3 million jobs1. This includes jobs in every facet of the industry, including physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, home health aides, medical coders & billers, nursing assistants, and more.
In parts one through three of this series, we have explored power skills and their role in the workplace, examining the impact that the Power Skills shortage has had on employers. By diving into both personal effectiveness skills and workplace competencies, we have also highlighted some of the most sought-after employee characteristics by employers. In a 2013 Harvard Business Review article, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor at Columbia University, emphasized that emotional intelligence (EI) - a key part of many Power Skills - can be developed and improved (unlike IQ, which is static.)1 This assertion is most significant when considering the fact that EI has been shown to be twice as important as cognitive abilities in predicting outstanding employee performance.2
In the professional world, employers seek a wide variety of worker competencies to ensure their workforce leads the business to success. While industry and occupation-specific competencies are important to performing well in a particular job setting, foundational competencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration as a prerequisite for workers to learn industry-specific skills, and provide the base for success in school and in the world of work.1
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.
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? 

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