Forward-thinking companies are adapting the way they operate to remain competitive in a fast-moving, tech-driven modern business environment. It follows that the smartest ones are also rethinking how they prioritize learning and development in this age of continuous reskilling. Far from being a “nice to have” perk, giving employees learning opportunities is a key differentiator that attracts high-value talent and enables their best work, which is something every company executive can get behind.
During our discussion about careers at the March 27 event at Hayes Middle School in West Virginia, many students indicated a desire to be a doctor or a veterinarian - careers traditionally popular among middle school-aged students. Loftis’ class, however, knows what it takes to get to these popular career choices. After participating in the STEM Scholars program, students demonstrate a better grasp of the STEM skills required to pursue these careers.
Through its partnership with Penn Foster, EmployBridge, who puts more than 88,000 associates to work each day through professional brands including Select Staffing, ProLogistix, and Resource MFG, is doing more than connecting supply with demand. Together, they’re pioneering an entirely new approach to investing in talent with the potential to address pressing skills gaps -- while creating new career pathways for job-seekers. It’s a model that we may soon see replicated. Other staffing agencies -- in industries as varied as IT to construction to healthcare -- are exploring or have launched similar programs.
Despite historically low unemployment and a growing economy, hiring skilled workers remains a challenge in many of our nation’s key industries, such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, and healthcare. We know America’s young people have talent. Now it’s time to embrace the tools necessary to more effectively discover and guide that emerging talent to high demand careers.
Closing the communications gap requires investments on both sides of the equation. Employers and education providers must work together to ensure the signals are accurate, clear, and verifiable. As the use of digital credentials expands, job seekers will gain unprecedented insight into the link between what they learn and the sort of employment opportunities that exist in their community -- or around the country. And for employers, the improved signal-to-noise ratio means a higher percentage of qualified applicants for each job opening, and improved ability of hiring managers to identify the best candidates for their position.