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Paul Freedman, President of the Learning Marketplace, Guild Education.
Recently, we spoke with Paul Freedman, President of the Learning Marketplace, Guild Education, to learn more about the impact of training and education on the workforce and employers. Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America's workforce through education, with a double bottom-line business model that does well by doing good. Guild partners with leading employers and organizations to help offer education benefits to America's workforce. Through partnership with Penn Foster, over 8k employees of Walmart, Lowe's, Disney, and other leading employers have accessed Penn Foster education and training programs through the Guild's platform since 2016.
medical worker wearing protective gear.
2020 has been a year unlike any other. With the pandemic changing our economy, how we work, and what roles are considered essential, there's a lot to talk about. The past months have shown that adaptability and innovation are vital to success – with or without a pandemic – and that the future of work is going to look a little different next year. As we prepare to take on a new year, we’re looking back at our 2020 milestones to get ready for a positive start to 2021.
Coworkers doing online training.
In business, for a program or plan to be considered a success, it needs to show positive return on investment (ROI). With sales metrics and revenue benchmarks, it’s fairly easy to measure the return and impact of your strategy. However, for strategies and plans involving human capital, getting a clear picture of how your investment in workforce training effects the business isn’t quite as straightforward. People are variable. But it’s also true that people – human capital – are essential to growing your business, revenue, and improving retention rates. As a necessary investment for employers, understanding the impact of effective workforce training can help you build a strong program with positive results for your employees and business.
Man typing on laptop.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and caused the US unemployment rate to spike to levels even higher than those seen during the Great Recession, Dr. Robert Jordan knew his nonprofit organization, Constituent Services Worldwide (CSW), was uniquely positioned to help the Greater Washington, D.C. area in this time of need. Formed after Dr. Jordan’s two-term administration as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner ended in 2011, CSW is a “multi-faceted Public Benefit Corporation designed to be a catalyst for government initiatives and resource for private sector clients.”
Man using laptop computer.
Today’s dynamic workplace demands more diverse skills than ever before. Amidst the historic pandemic and shift in the economy, new jobs are being created and lesser-known roles, like contact tracing, are growing. And while a degree may prove a generalized understanding of a particular subject area, it doesn’t guarantee that the worker has the skills needed by your specific business today. This is why even though 44 percent of employers have increased the level of education required for job roles over the last five years, 62% of HR leaders are exploring or have already implemented a formal effort to deemphasize degrees and prioritize skills competencies.
Man wearing work apron.
The lines between education and employment are blurring. With the tight talent market and increasing speed of change in business, employers can no longer just hope that colleges will teach future employees relevant skills. They must take matters into their own hands. Many are building partnerships with education providers to train workforces directly and employer-assisted education is becoming a part of the standard benefits package.
Scaffolding next to building.
Learner support should be a key element of your employee development planning. The right support at the right time can help working learners finish what they start, which results in more qualified employees for your business. To make sure all employees get the help they need, choose a training partner who offers wrap-around support throughout the learning process.
Girl playing with robot.
Amidst the hype and fear-mongering over automation in the workplace, insightful business leaders are realizing something important: strategic digital upskilling can turn the robotic boogeyman into a workforce asset. With the right training and development, automation can help workers achieve more and engage more. As we stand on the brink of a new decade, automation-supported workforces promise to help us reach new heights of productivity and profitability. Workforce automation has been on the horizon for years. You’ve heard the projections: Robots will make humans obsolete. Workforces will be decimated by new technology. Millions will lose their jobs. As we step into 2020, you may be wondering if this is the decade when the takeover happens.
People working on large computer monitor.
In today’s tight labor market, workforce development programs have become a hot topic for employers. Businesses across all industries are finding that workforce development is no longer just a nice thing to have, it’s a pressing concern that must be addressed so employers can keep positions filled and employees satisfied in their jobs. You may not have a workforce development plan at all. Or your existing program may not be robust enough to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment. Either way, you have questions. What is a workforce development program? How do I create one that works for my business? Where can I turn for help?
Red arrow pointing up in stairwell.
We’re past the point of debate about whether the world of work is changing. The labor market continues to tighten. The shelf-life of skills is shrinking as technological change and the rise of AI transform the global economy. The “future of work” has become a cliche.  As the pace of change picks up, what should employers and workers expect in 2020 -- and how can they keep up? Following the trend lines of workforce transformation can help us make smarter decisions and unlock economic mobility for workers. Here are five predictions for how the world of work will continue to evolve in the coming year.

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