Newest Key Contributor Award Winner truly believes our “Why”

by Jeff - Aug 12, 2019


For a company to be on the same page it has helped a great deal that everyone knows our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day. Our newest Key Contributor Award recipient Beth Ciaramello lives it every day as our Chief Employability Officer.

Beth’s job is to connect our students to employers, work study programs, and get them job ready/hired. She is also quite worldly as one of her personal accomplishments last year was traveling abroad working remotely.

She is being recognized for taking on three major projects, creating and implementing a ProScan to Placement process (P2P), finding new great talent to support the new process, taking over Brighton Colleges Employability activities, and taking over all recruiting and hiring for LearnKey staff (yes we are hiring).

Her “can do attitude” has resulted in two awesome new team members (Jeff & Wendy) based in Scottsdale, who have learned the P2P process and fully implemented it. We now have improved tracking and placements for both Brighton and LearnKey. Additionally, Beth continues to recruit awesome talent and truly displays our core values (ease, value, and trust).

The value she brings to our internal teams and external customers is exceptional. A great example is a recent partnership she has established with a new employer to our programs. This has required a lot of moving parts to come together and she has stayed with it all the way.

As a leader she knows our business and students as well as anyone else. One of her greatest qualities is the ease in which she works with everyone. Always willing to listen, offer advice and support no matter what. What that has left along the way is a tremendous amount of trust between Beth and everyone she interacts with on our teams.

We are so fortunate to have you on our team. Congratulations Beth for always keeping our Why – Improving Employability Every Day front and center for all of us.

Best,

Jeff



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Learn In-demand Skills, Obtain Industry Certifications and Always Have a Plan “B”

by Jeff - May 28, 2019


My father taught me many years ago to learn a trade or in-demand skill, as well as always have a plan “B”. In this day and age that is so important, especially for those in high school, going to college, or adults trying to obtain a well-paying job. It just so happens I took that advice back in the 80’s and learning my first skill/certification was how to use American Airlines “Sabre” reservation system. See, my trade was working in a travel agency. I learned reservations, ticketing, operations, business development, and sales.

Knowing and getting certified in multiple reservation systems like Sabre, United Airlines Apollo system, TWA’s PARS, and a few others allowed me to go from doing reservations to becoming a team lead, then operations supervisor, to Director, then V.P./General Manager. Yes, I was climbing the corporate ladder, even ran start-ups over my 30-year career.

But it all started with making sure I had skills. Now, in this day and age “first jobs” are on the cusp of being eliminated this article that speaks to “AI is replacing first jobs”  which is very concerning but not surprising due to advances in technology. So now more than ever, I stress to everyone learn a skill/trade, get certified, so you can have a fall back plan “B”. College degrees are important, however, in today’s world so is getting certified in many fields such as: Technology, Allied Health, STEM, Legal, and many more.

The good news is its not just me advocating the importance of certifications. A recent Forbes article just came out titled “non-degree certificates and certifications are fast, cheap and effective”. This is a great read and while they are not necessarily cheap it validates how important non-degree certificates and globally-recognized industry certifications are in today’s workforce. Here are some key highlights of the article & survey which are sure worth sharing:

  • Adults with a short-term certificate or industry-based certification were more likely to be employed (85%) than adults without such credentials (78%).
  • Adults holding certificates reported their median annual income to be $45,000, compared to $30,000 for adults without any certificates.
  • Among the non-degree adults with a certificate or certification, two-thirds were inclined to recommend the educational path they had followed to others, compared to less than half of the non-degreed adults without such credentials.
  • Among certificate/certification holders, 60% believed their educational experiences made them more marketable to potential employers, compared to 44% of those who had not earned certificates or certifications.

At LearnKey we are all about “improving employability every day” and we do that through ensuring our message around “Learn a skill, Practice as part of your preparation, and get Certified” is loud and clear. The world is changing and now more then ever, you need to have a plan “B” and I have my father to thank for that!

Jeff



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In Sheena We Trust!

by Jeff - May 07, 2019


Our newest Key Contributor Award winner is Sheena Chamberlain and in Sheena we trust.

This year LearnKey is rolling out new technology and tools so our learners have the best learning experience. The first roll out was enhancements to our student information system (SIS 2.0) in February this year. That was no easy task, however, having lots of expertise in-house that project was more manageable.

Our new Learning Management System has been a huge undertaking and in development for well over a year. This is new state of the art technology that has yet to be rolled out enterprise wide.

In January 2019 we realized we needed an A+ team player to begin to manage the beta testing and early adoption of this new system. In a perfect world someone would have come on board and had several months to get up to speed by working with the developers, our in house designers and production team. That did not happen.

What happened was Sheena Chamberlain stepped up an said “I can do this” without any hesitation. Not only did she have a tremendous “can do attitude” but she also quickly realized that there was more work to do, then anyone had anticipated. What did she do? What she is best at which is managing people and process. Soon, she had twelve (12) internal team members working on fixing labs, rebuilding courses, coordinating development efforts and managing new customer expectations. She did all this while continuing to do her normal job.

What jumped out with all of us is how she truly demonstrated our core values: Ease, Value and Trust, with Trust leading the way. She was open, honest, told it like it was, didn’t make excuses or complain that things were not they way they were portrayed. She just took it on herself to make it right.

I want to take this moment to congratulate Sheena for staying the course with a positive attitude, persistence and always taking the high road. We are so fortunate to have her on board and in the next thirty (30) days we will be launching this new LMS!

In Sheena we trust!



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Let’s go CADDing – New Course, New Series

by Jason - Apr 09, 2019


Hello and happy spring from your humble senior instructor. I am very happy to announce that we have released the first course in our new series of courses on Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD). The course? Autodesk Certified User for AutoCAD. For those of you who are wondering what exactly is AutoCAD, let me tell you: it is computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings (that’s the description from the official website, so let’s go with that). The course itself, which covers the material on the AutoCAD Certified User exam, takes one through building some lamp drawings for the inside of a house.

In fact, “house” is the major theme of this entire series. Our second course in the series, Autodesk Revit, centers around building a house. The major use of Revit is designing buildings, hence the house design. The third course in our series, Autodesk Inventor, focuses on mechanical drawings. Thus, in that course, you will see how mechanical parts of a house are built.

CADD as a whole is a growing need, with a 7% growth expected for demand in the job market in the next decade, according to the Department of Bureau and Labor Statistics. This series of courses will help increase your employability prospects for many areas of CADD. And, for the AutoCAD and Revit courses, we have brought in an expert: Gary Roberts, who has over 20 years’ experience teaching Autodesk and similar applications at the high school level. In fact, through his teaching, I can say with confidence that I can now draw the architecture piece for something besides a golf course. Just don’t ask me to draw a raindrop as I’ve been told that’s not my best drawing skill (get the Animate CC 2015 course and you can decide for yourself).



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Microsoft Office 2019, Here We Come…

by Jason - Feb 12, 2019


A belated Happy New Year to you all. January is over, so I can say that. As I sit here writing this wondering when winter will ever end, I am happy to let you all know that we are in the midst of building and producing our Office 2019 suite of courses. As we are always trying to improve our product and your employability prospects, here is what you can expect to see as these courses start to roll out this spring:

Word 2019 – building a resume, cover letter, schedule, and small brochure.

Excel 2019 – building a small budget, a schedule list, and multiple summaries of data.

PowerPoint 2019 – building recruiting presentations for a small business and a school club.

Outlook 2019 – the whole personal information management package, from email, to calendar, to contacts, to tasks, to notes, and how all are used for continuity in the business world.

Access 2019 – a database to manage a small business.

Oh, small business, yes, I almost forgot: all of these courses are going to revolve around scenario-based learning (here are part I and part II of the scenario-based learning blogs for your reading pleasure) as we cover most of the material through two avenues: day-to-day usage at a fictitious athletic club business, and practical scenarios for students and those looking for a new career, as outlined in some of the scenarios above. We are not only about helping you pass the Office 2019 MOS exams (yes, these courses will help you do so), but we are also about making learning fun, fast-paced, enjoyable, scenario-based, and, most importantly, there to improve your employability.

And, these courses are loaded with practical tips, brought to you by our new “face of LearnKey,” Marie, who is helping us bring you a rich, practical, and full learning experience not only for Office 2019, but for more of our future courses. We look forward to start bringing you this series later this spring. Until then, here’s to spring getting here. Now. At least pitchers and catchers start reporting this week. Hope springs eternal!



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Newest Key Contributor Award Winner has “Workbook” Mania

by Jeff - Jan 31, 2019


Yes, Improving Employability Every Day is our “Why” and how we do that is through making great courses so youth and adult learners gain Industry IT Certifications, graduate our programs, and get employed! While LearnKey is known for great Video-based training we do provide additional content with each course including: labs, assessments, lesson plans  and workbooks. Therefore, our production team consisting of video editors, technical writers, quality control, and system support staff have to always be working in sync to meet our course deadlines.

Our newest Key Contributor Award Winner M’Lissa Woods is making quite a name for herself by leveraging her amazing technical writing skills. M’Lissa joined us in July 2018 her first project was to complete Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) workbooks for courses we shot earlier in the year. She jumped right in and after four months completed more than double, ten (10) workbooks a normal writer could complete in that period. Her ability to process work alone with focus and strong organizational skills are second to none.

This not only ensured we released these courses on time but she also really embraced our core values (Ease, Value, and Trust) which is huge for our culture. Her work is of great Value requiring minimal QC efforts, she immediately built a great deal of Trust with her peers, and she is very Easy to work with as noted by her manager and peers.

M’Lissa is going to help us reach our goals for 2019  which by the way are pretty lofty: Produce eighteen (18) courses including Microsoft 2019 series and our Signature CompTIA A+ course, migrate our students to a new learning management system & student information system, as well as provide more tutoring and customer support for our VA students. It is great to know we have employees like M’Lissa on our team to help us along the way.

We feel very fortunate to have M”lissa on board and if her name sounds familiar that is because her husband Kelly Woods is a previous Key Contributor Award Winner– so it runs in the family!

Please join me on congratulating M’Lissa for this great accomplishment.



Future Ready Schools and Lifelong Learning all leads to in-demand 21st Century Skills

by Jeff - Jan 23, 2019


We are always looking for organizations that align to our why “Improving Employability Every Day”.  Be it social services organizations, K-12 & post secondary schools, employers, and not-for-profits. The good news is there are a lot of programs educators can leverage and share best practices around that are going to help youth, adult, and under-served learners gain key in-demand 21st century skills.

Here is a program we are pretty excited about that enables educators to prepare future-ready schools (FRS). Their effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship is something we fully support and applaud. We work with hundreds of schools and districts nationwide that use our video-based courseware in the Business and Career & Technical Education programs. Every year we learn about more success stories and the FRS program is pretty impressive.  The future-ready school programs and partnerships support, thousands of district leaders have planned and implemented personalized, research-based digital learning strategies for millions of students to achieve their full potential.

At LearnKey our goal is to offer employability skills learning programs that teach 21st century in-demand skills.  Therefore, we want to ensure our curriculum, instruction style (i.e. scenario-based), and assessments are tightly aligned with and designed to engage students in personalized, technology-empowered, deeper learning experiences that build life-long learning skills. This year our new learning management system (OnlineExpert.com) is getting a significant makeover/technology upgrade that will drive more engagement and collaboration between learners and instructors.

It has been proven that learners who successfully “learn how to learn online” have over a 70% greater chance to become successful lifelong learners. Why is that important to us? Well, since lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability.  That goes back to our “Why” which is improving employability every day!

Stay tuned as we introduce other successful learning organizations that support great causes such as lifelong learning!

Best,

Jeff Coruccini



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New year brings goals, exciting partnerships, that drive Improving Employability Every Day

by Jeff - Jan 02, 2019


LearnKey is excited for the new year and for us to continue to grow and exceed the goals we have around our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day. This coming year we want to see hundreds of graduates from LearnKey and Brighton College gain employment through our learning systems, programs, and strategic partnerships.

You heard LearnKey partnering with Brighton College, yes, to kick off 2019, that is exciting news. Partnering with Brighton college is a great move for us because we cater to the same student demographic. Those students interested in New Collar Jobs. With our dual alignment with Career & Technical Education programs for Information Technology, Allied Health, Legal, and Business Management it becomes a way to leverage what both our organizations are good at, which is programs that lead to in demand jobs.

In the industry we saw strong growth in our K-12 Market and vocational rehabilitation programs. Globally recognized entry-level IT & Career Ready Industry Certifications are on the rise worldwide. We are seeing it first-hand and some of the most popular obtained from our student/learner demographic were tied to: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) , IC3 Global Standard 5,  which is the newest addition to the IC3 Digital Literacy program,  CompTIA’s  A+, N+, and S+, Adobe, Quickbooks, and Entrepreneurship Small Business. Like all other education organizations in Information Technology, Cybersecurity continues to see strong growth with our students and adult learners wanting streamlined programs for that career.

At LearnKey a Better Learning systems (check out our updated website) company, we have three big goals this year that tie directly to Improving Employability Every Day, and they are: Create a better student learning experience through upgraded learning management technology that our employees really want to use; second, do the exact same thing with our Student Information System (SIS 3.1 upgrade), again want happy employees who use our technology; and third, Improve the student progression success of our team members and students by 40%. This will drive a better learning experience which will lead to more graduates and more of our students getting hired!

Exciting times ahead of us to kick off 2019.

 



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Key Contributor Award Winner- On the road again!

by Jeff - Nov 06, 2018


One of the most difficult jobs is one that requires a ton of travel. It can be extremely lonely and quite challenging with flight schedules, uncomfortable hotel beds, rental cars, and meeting people that are not always as passionate about their jobs as we are. That is not the case for our most recent Key Contributor Award winner – Kelly Woods. He travels no matter what weather conditions are on his journey.

See, Kelly is a Veteran, and his job is to meet with VA counselors and spread the word on how our programs help Veterans get jobs in IT, Cyber Security, Networking, Programming, Graphic Design, and Help Desk/Customer Service. When we say LearnKey truly is Improving Employability Every Day, Kelly is the face of that statement. He takes his job seriously and never hesitates to help out another Veteran or counselor when they inquire about our programs or if they need assistance along their journey. Our programs are not easy, which is why it’s important that Kelly does not mince words in that the program will be hard, but the reward will be great!

Of course Kelly attributes all our success to his supporting team members, which include the other Regional Representatives, LearnKey’s production and support teams, and the great job ready team and tutors, along with our student support representatives. It takes a team and Kelly takes pride in that he has a great team.

Thank you Kelly for your contributions and keeping our core values – EASE, VALUE and TRUST – top of mind.



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Analogies of a Mutt and a Semi-trailer

by Jason - Oct 17, 2018


A few weeks ago, I was attending an online meeting when my phone rang. It was Scott Walker, one of our sales managers/fellow golfers in the company. He said, “You have a minute? I’m at a high school class and the kids want to say hello to you.” Having left my say-hello-to-students outfit at home, I asked if I was on camera. Scott said, no, just the phone. The next thing I know, I’m saying hello to a bunch of high school students who are taking our MTA Networking course and pursuing their MTA Networking certification (smart move for employability, by the way).

We only had a few minutes to chat, as they were reaching the end of their class, but they asked me a couple of quick questions about the networking career path in general. Then one student asked how I felt about a certain antimalware program. I said, “It’s better than nothing,” which drew some laughs (inferences being what they are, I suppose). I then added, “Look. If you put a small mutt dog out to guard your house, even if the dog doesn’t do anything, people will steer clear just because you have a dog there.” Message understood.

Fast forward the clock to today, when another sales manager/fellow golfer, Kelly Woods, asked me to talk to a student about a potential career change to programming. This gentleman was brand new to programming in general. He asked me how best to learn it and where he could apply it as a career. I said, “You work on semis, right? Well, programming has a similarity to that. Not every semi is the same, but once you work on a few you get the basics down and then it’s not too hard to learn about new ones and their nuances, right?” He said yes. I said, “There you go.” This left him with a better understanding of what he may encounter should he decide to pursue this path.

What’s my point here? There are two. First, analogies are great at taking something foreign and making it seem not so. Being able to learn using analogies improves employability, as it makes things easier to understand. I use those as much as I can when teaching. Second, one of the favorite parts of my job is connecting with students, both current and potential. It keeps me engaged with people as cameras and computer screens don’t talk back to me… at least not yet.

So, to Scott Huerkamp, the teacher from Niceville High School in Florida, thank you for allowing me to say hello to your class and talk to them for a few minutes. And, to the potential student who is thinking of moving from semis to programming, thank you and good luck with whatever you decide.

And, since I mentioned golf, I’ll leave you today with this: A friend of mine called me and complained about how he can’t put four good shots in a row together. My response: “That’s OK. You only hit one shot at a time.” Analogy? You decide.