Penn Foster Launches Career Readiness Bootcamp to Bridge Today's Soft Skills Gap Among Entry Level Employees | Penn Foster Press Release

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Penn Foster Launches Career Readiness Bootcamp to Bridge Today's Soft Skills Gap Among Entry Level Employees

Interactive, Mobile Program Provides Students and Employees with "Power Skills" to Improve Employability and Workplace Effectiveness

SCRANTON, PA, (April 4, 2017) — Penn Foster Inc, a leading skills solutions organization focused on providing competencies, career pathways and employment matching for today's evolving workforce, today announced the launch of its nationally accredited Career Readiness Bootcamp, a modular skills training program designed to teach individuals entering or already in the workforce the soft skills or "Power Skills" needed to find and maintain long-term career success.

Through engaging content and scenario-based simulations, the Career Readiness Bootcamp helps to instill essential skills that are highly sought after by hiring managers in today's 21st century workforce. The bootcamp consists of nine modules focused on areas including integrity, problem solving, teamwork and customer focus, which are based on the sophisticated analysis of documented industry skills gaps and employer needs across the largest and fastest-growing careers in the U.S. economy. The modules provide training in foundational personal effectiveness and workplace readiness competencies, which are viewed as integral to career success across all industries, but are not easily measured via testing. The program's curriculum was developed using multiple national databases and industry frameworks including the U.S. Department of Labor's Career Onestop Competency Models to ensure relevancy across industries, while reflecting employers' needs.

"We developed the Career Readiness Bootcamp after seeing a real skills gap in the workplace and realized that soft skills are key to helping our graduates thrive in the workplace," said Dara Warn, Chief Outcomes Officer at Penn Foster. "Further, we wanted to enable our employer partners to help tenured employees develop the confidence, competence, and mindset of an employee who's shaping a successful and upwardly mobile career. We're excited to be one of the first institutions to offer the mechanism to help students and employees integrate this valuable skillset."

After successful pilot programs conducted by Church's Chicken and Long Beach Job Corps, the Career Readiness Bootcamp is now DEAC accredited and available to Penn Foster students and graduates directly. The Career Readiness Bootcamp is also available to Penn Foster's variety of partners, including employers, youth organizations, schools and nonprofits that work to help individuals become employed or candidates for promotion. Those individuals participating in the Long Beach Job Corps Career Readiness Bootcamp posted gains of 25%, on average, in teamwork, communication, integrity and customer focus, from their pre- to post-module assessments.

According to a Harvard Business School report titled "Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America's Middle Skills," nearly 44% of the executives surveyed indicated it was difficult to fill jobs because candidates lacked soft skills. Similarly, 49% of the respondents to a recent Manpower Group's Talent Shortage Survey said talent shortages were undermining their ability to serve customers. Employers cited the absence of technical skills (48%) and of workplace or soft skills (33%) as the most significant barriers to fulfilling their needs. Companies in the U.S. can expect to feel the pinch even more severely in the future as more than 76 million baby boomers age, and their current labor participation rate falls from 80% to below 40% by 2022.

About Penn Foster
Students, employers and partner organizations rely on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the 21st century workforce. For over 125 years, Penn Foster has been dedicated to helping people lead more meaningful and productive lives and to improving social outcomes through education. Penn Foster provides career pathways for opportunity youth and adult learners through diverse and affordable online diploma, certificate and degree programs, offered via its high school, career school and college. With more than 44,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster's online and blended learning programs are delivered in a self-paced, competency-based model wrapped by comprehensive academic, professional and personal support and coaching. For more information, visit https://www.pennfoster.edu or https://partners.pennfoster.edu/.


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