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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Your neighborhood Goodwill may offer more than meets the eye. Many Goodwill centers across the nation operate One Stop Career Centers alongside their retail stores/donation centers to assist youth, adults, and families to improve their skills and education. One such Career Center in Conemaugh Valley, Pennsylvania, is now offering locals the chance to earn their high school diploma in a supportive environment. This gives community members who are struggling to find work a second chance to earn the credentials and skills needed to increase their chances for employment.
"Teamwork makes the dream work." This past Thursday, this phrase echoed through the Mayor's Reception Room at Philadelphia's City Hall, where five participants of The Choice is Yours (TCY) program gathered to celebrate their high school graduation. Alberta Lloyd, Career Instructor for TCY at JEVS Human Services (JEVS), stood at the front of the room to present the five individuals, who were about to be presented with their Penn Foster High School diplomas. "This is more than a program " this is an opportunity," she noted.
A student exhibiting signs of chronic absenteeism misses 10 percent or more of the school year.1 They may miss a consecutive period or spread their absences throughout the year. This behavior has many root causes, such as major illness, fear of bullying and a lack of value placed on education. Most schools focus on average daily attendance, but this figure doesn't reveal the major problem of chronic absenteeism, which impacts 6.5 million students each year.2
Today's students may be more stressed than ever before. In fact, the 2015 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment found that 85.6 percent of students had felt overwhelmed in the past year.1 The pressures of getting top grades, balancing extracurricular activities with studying, and spending time with family all add up. In addition, students manage another identity in the digital world. Social media platforms are one more thing to keep up with and are often rife with stress-inducing comparisons, gossip and bullying.
This Thursday, the Penn Foster team will head down to Philadelphia for an exciting double-event in partnership with JEVS Human Services (JEVS), a non-profit, multi-service organization with over 20 programs providing skills development, job readiness and career services, to name a few. The day will bring together thought leaders from the local community and beyond to discuss workforce development trends and education solutions, and celebrate recent graduates of Penn Foster High School. So what is on tap for the day?
I sat down with John Shrader, GM and Executive Vice President at Penn Foster, to pick his brain about the intersections of education, workforce development, and talent management. We discussed implications for the future evolution of these industries alongside the growth of education technology, and why this will change the way we learn and work.
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
Penn Foster is excited to be sponsoring the NJCA Leadership Summit next week (September 19-20) in Arlington, Virginia. And, on behalf of the rest of the Penn Foster team that will be joining me, we're thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with Job Corps leaders and students from across the country.
You could say it's a good time to become a Veterinary Technician. Boasting over 95,000 workers in the United States, the occupational outlook is only positive; between 2014 and 2024, the veterinary technician profession is expected to increase by 19 percent " much faster than the average growth rate of 7% for all occupations.1 This industry growth and demand for technicians was one of many factors behind BluePearl Veterinary Partners' recent partnership with Penn Foster to offer a Veterinary Technician Associate Degree program. Announced today, the program is available to eligible BluePearl associates at their 50+ hospitals across the nation.2
When we think about the service industry, our first thoughts tend to gravitate toward creating an outstanding customer experience, having consistent processes, and putting the consumer first. However, the concept of serving the employees in the workforce often comes second. In a recent article on RestaurantNews.com, Ed Brett, Chief People Officer at Church's Chicken, addresses the importance of "service" at the most fundamental level " with the employees in your own organization.

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