By the end of last year we successfully rolled out a new LearnKey.com website and we have our newest Key Contributor Award Winner Brad Washburn to thank for that. We call Brad our “utility player”, due to the roles he can perform at LearnKey. This project was something Brad worked on for months at the end of last year and required a lot of collaboration with not only internal LearnKey team members, but also external web developers. The new site features storefront functionality, new messaging, and layout that is much more clear and understandable than the previous website.
Brad truly demonstrated our core values Ease, Value, and Trust. He was easy to work with throughout the project, his contributions were of significant value, and all team members on the project could trust that the work would be done, and done right.
Here is what Beau Shakespear, who nominated Brad had to say “Brad went through every single page of the old website (hundreds of pages) and updated, redirected, or deleted pages. He was patient when Kim and I would ask him to make edits live then change our minds and have him change it back. Brad is always great to work with and always did what he said he was going to do.” He also met every single deadline to ensure this was done by year end. It has been over ten (10) years that we had such an improvement to our website.
We were excited to share Brad’s receipt of this award during our monthly all hands video conference call last week. We feel so fortunate to have team members like Brad and also other 2020 Key Contributor award winners like Jade Brown, Jeff Martin, Annalise Sluder, and Susan Somerville. They all made major contributions to our 2020 success.
As we welcome in 2021, it’s exciting to see how online education is evolving and the impact it will have in the future.
At LearnKey we were thrilled to see key solutions initiatives we have in place hit Guide2Research’s top 10 online education trends for 20/21. This further validates the “what and why” behind how important these initiatives are and the impact they can have for generations to come.
This first one, #4 AI provides Personalized Learning Pathways. We have been working with our Know Your Talents division leveraging the PDP Global behavioral assessment so when a student completes the assessment/survey, they receive a list of career micro-pathways, which feature LearnKey certification courses, and recommendations to those pathways that match their behavior for the best fit. Why we did this is so our students could have at their finger tips great career exploration information.
The second one, #6 Video-based learning expands to maximize the impact of mobile learning. LearnKey has been doing multimedia courseware that features video-based learning for over 30 years. We have now implemented better learning management technology to ensure our students have the best learning experience on any device.
We are off to a great start for 2021 and have also rolled out a new website, so be sure to visit www.learnkey.com and learn more about new services and offerings.
We had a great company all hands video conference call yesterday. Just so nice to see everyone, celebrate some of our successes YTD, welcome new team members and announce our 3rd Quarter Key Contributor Award Winner. Just like our previous KCA winner, this person is someone truly having a positive impact on our students.
When we talk about our “Why” Improving employability every day and our core values Ease, Value and Trust this individual is someone all of us have become to respect and appreciate the great work she does helping our students to ensure they are qualified and ready to onboard into our IT Certification Pathways programs. She is very respectful and easy to get along with, has brought tremendous value as an individual and team contributor and someone who has earned the trust of everyone she works with at LearnKey as well as the counselors we serve.
Which is why it gives me great honor to announce that Jade Brown was the recipient of our Key Contributor Award winner this quarter.
Over the last year and a half Jade has implemented, streamlined and improved our enrollment process by developing a vetting process to ensure our students are qualified to be in our program. In addition she is directly responsible from growing this role into a team. Her hard work has directly correlated to having more successful & motivated students/learners better qualified to start are programs. Jade is the type of team players that has a great attitude and ” will do whatever it takes to get the job done” .
Organizationally, Jade took the lead and wrote training manuals and SOP’s for new LK team members so they can successfully onboard in the enrollment department. Her leader, Kelly had this to say “We have great LK team members but man I believe Jade is one of the hardest workers we have” Couple that with her professionalism and courtesy we congratulate you Jade on this great accomplishment.
We all know this has been a challenging year and it’s so exciting to know that we can have some peace of mind in knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives during these times.
Whether its knowing that we helped over forty-six (46) of our students get hired, or helping a student get certified, offering free employability skills training for those unemployed, or assisting the counselors and teachers that are dealing with allot of stress and challenges, yes we have those challenges too, however, they way our team has come together to handle these situations makes me truly proud of each and everyone one of our team members. Our Senior Instructor also had us excited about the current course (IT fundamentals) he and the production team are working on, listening to his passion really made all of us appreciate the hard work that goes into producing courses like this one.
Staying connected during these times is important and we will continue to do that. Today was nice and tomorrow will be better.
When I was growing up it was always about “do the right thing,” not only personally but professionally. With so much unemployment at a rapid pace, LearnKey, since March of this year, has been focused on doing the right thing, in the best way that we can. For us it’s about providing access to our courses. Earlier this year we had the opportunity to do that for two thousand schools by way of extending our courses to schools, students, and teachers in need.
In today’s world, that can be considered Corporate Social Responsibility. My understanding is corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a type of business self-regulation with the aim of being socially accountable. I have read there is no one “right” way companies can practice CSR; many corporate CSR initiatives strive to positively contribute to the public, the economy, or the environment.
Our newest initiative is focused both on the environment and economy, something we are very proud of, in that we are offering free online employability courses for those residents in Arizona & Utah, both states where we have headquarter locations. It is our way of helping those in need so they can gain key employability skills, and so far it has been well received.
Just last week LearnKey was in the news on Arizona News Channel 3 sharing this free offer and you can read more about it here, including how to get access to these free online courses. We want to continue to spread the news about this free offer to those in need of learning interview tips, advice on how to find jobs online, and improving their communication skills so they can stand out among the competition.
In June of this year, I shared with our employees that my goal was to focus on what I can control: Love my family & friends, be the best leader I can be for LearnKey, and make sure that we as a team respect one another each and every day. What pleases me most is to see our teams taking pride in doing what we can do to help and stay positive in these challenging times.
One of the biggest challenges each quarter for our leadership team is to select a team or team member to be our Key Contributor Award winner(s). That is the most wonderful problem to have as this award is about going above and beyond “what was expected of you.” We had so many fantastic nominations this past month that it really made the decision-making process tough. Which just shows we have such a great culture; everyone is always working harder to be better. Or as we say “Improving Employability Every Day.”
Speaking of employability, please join me in congratulating Jeff Martin as our newest Key Contributor Award winner and a key member of our employability team. What we learned about Jeff’s accomplishments was simply amazing. His leader, Beth Ciaramello, did a real fun “Did you know” on his nomination.
Did you know?
Jeff has contacted over one thousand (1000) students in the last 1.5 years. He has taken on additional roles (i.e. student services, workforce readiness coach) with a complete “can do” attitude. He has reviewed four hundred (400)+ resumes in 2020, has successfully placed over twenty five (25) students YTD, on-boarded a new team member, and constantly receives exceptional ratings from students on how good it is to work with him. Additionally, he fully owned the Employability Team’s assembly of our standard operating procedures.
The best part was to see and hear the feedback from everyone in the company supporting and applauding his selection. He works incredibly hard and he impacts all students’ lives and makes LearnKey an incredible place to work.
Strange times, I was able to finally congratulate him in person in a parking lot, North Scottsdale, so we could get a picture of him holding the award. Thank you for all you do Jeff Martin and the entire LearnKey family. We continue to strive to get better and improve employability every day.
Last week we had a great company meeting via Zoom!
Was great to get all of us connected. We did it last month and everyone really liked it. Gave us an opportunity to share some updates, successes, and talk about what we can do to give back during these times. What I have observed over the past 90 days with regards to this team and the work we do is truly amazing. Two weeks into the shelter our entire company went remote and it was because of our leaders: Kim, Marian, Kelly, Chad, Jason, and Sheena, that they were able to pull this off so effectively. We continue to show our “why”: Improving Employability Every Day. Other topics we covered included:
- Pre/Post Production – Is completing more courses and domains then they did last year. Working together, being resourceful, and a big shout out to Natasha Nelson for plowing through IC3 (newest update) last week, which had to be prioritized due to a new exam release coming out in the fall. I know this one, she had short notice and Marian said she rocked it. Natasha, thank you – having people like you in production is going to enable us to shoot more courses in a year than ever before.
- Career Pathways utilizing PDP – This is going to be a game changer the Know Your Talents team (specifically Kiley Leonard) has worked with key members from LearnKey (Jason, Ben, Beth, and Jacob) to build job models representative of LearnKey career pathways. Incorporating this into the learning experience for our students and teachers will be another one of our “secret sauces” when it comes to students leveraging their talents and acquiring important employability skills.
- Leadership Development – I am thrilled with the progress our leadership team is making with identifying true metrics, or what are being termed as “rocks” for each team and leader. As I stated in the last update and newsletter our teams are focused on getting better. All LearnKey employees participated in the Organizational Effectiveness Survey (OES) and most recently quarterly reviews. Based on your feedback, the LearnKey leadership team, working with the Know Your Talents team, these initiatives I believe are going to make a big difference long term. One of the big things that has come out of this is developing a recognition program for all employees when we reach our goals on a monthly basis. So we can all celebrate. Additionally, I am starting to work with another wave of team members to start our own internal leadership development program. It pleases me that we are truly doing what we told you we were going to do. A lot more work- but the path to success is becoming real clear. Our “why” will always be Improving Employability Every Day, but what are some of our Big Hair Audacious Goals, better known as “BHAG”, that can tie to a true vision? Well, those are in the works and we will begin to share next month. So stay tuned.
- LearnKey K-12 – We just shared the most incredible promotional video about LearnKey in the classroom that includes multiple interviews of teachers and business partners. This project was just completed by Kim Johnson and Seth Magers very grateful that teachers like our courses.
- How can LearnKey give back? We have kept you up to date on the free course offer for our schools and students and as of last week 1300 schools and 19K students took advantage of this great offer. Well, now we want to take it a step further to those who are unemployed in the states where we have a presence: AZ and UT. We have hired a PR firm to help us with the messaging and our plan is to roll this out sometime in July.
LearnKey in the coming months will be exploring a course for learners in the “new environment” that will focus on topics long overdue with regards to: equal justice, understanding where racism remains in 21st century, civics, understanding govt., social media etiquette, cultural empathy, social responsibility – what is expected of citizens, finding truth and facts in media, these are just to name a few topics. We are already in collaboration with an author and will be doing our due diligence and promise to keep you posted on our progress. Again, the hope is this is our way of giving back during these changing times.
Before I ended the meeting, as a leader of this company, it would not have been right if I didn’t bring up some major uneasiness going on right now in our country. There is a tremendous amount of frustration, hurtfulness, and fear. The past 90 days has forced us to shelter, put the US in a recession, and exposed some true weaknesses in hospital, law, govt., and supply chain. Will we get through this? Yes, because we are the United States. Will there be scares, more frustration and stress? Yes, there will be. Do we need better leadership? Yes, we do.
I share that my goal is to focus on what I can control: Love my family & friends, be the best leader I can be for LearnKey, and make sure that we as a team respect one another each and every day. You see my quotes that over the last year have been primarily focused on one word: “Respect”. This is the one thing that I will demand from myself first and then to each and every one of you. Just so you know as soon as we feel more comfortable with travel between AZ and UT Lori and I will hit the road to visit every UT office as soon as we can.
Again, I tip my hat to the entire LearnKey family for working as one team and truly Improving Employability every day.
One of the greatest assets LearnKey has is our people who drive a great culture. Years of reinforcing our core values, Ease, Value, & Trust, the dividends continue to pay to this day. We know we are fortunate to have awesome team members, especially during these times. Which is why it is so important to celebrate and recognize individuals and teams for their accomplishments.
Our newest quarterly Key Contributor Award Winner Annalise Sluder, LearnKey’s lead writer, is a perfect example. We were pretty excited about launching a new course earlier this year (non IT) covering Communication Skills for Business (CSB), one of the first communication skills certification courses of its kind.
Annalise took extra steps to ensure it was a success. Her manager Marion had this to say: “Always a ‘can do’ attitude and what really stuck out is since taking the lead writing position she has stepped up to better the writing process, trained other team members in Natasha, and M’lissa, then got certified in the CSB course to make sure the workbook and tests were the best they could be. She truly lives our core values, ease, value and trust.”
LearnKey’s Senior Instructor, Jason Manibog had this to say: “We put Annalise in the Lead Writer role and man, has she taken on the lead, with an emphasis on lead. She has steered the writing in a perfect direction, organized all the standards, communicates and adjusts perfectly to our standards and the needs for each course, and she has put anyone who touches writing tasks in the best position to succeed. I know I’ve had to worry far less about how tests/workbooks are as we the authors give her the ‘look’ needed for a course and she takes it from there.”
Our Chief Employability Officer, Beth Ciaramello said something that was so sweet after everyone else chimed in. She said, “Plus, Annalise has an incredible attitude and treats everyone with impeccable kindness.”
That said it all and we sure did enjoy celebrating your award during our all-hands company meeting this past Wednesday, April 29th, 2020!
Bravo Annalise congratulations we are blessed to have you on our team. Every quarter this award gets harder and harder to award as there are so many of our team members who are always going above and beyond to reinforce our “Why”: Improving Employability Every Day.
Our quarterly award (Key Contributor) is something we are very proud of at LearnKey. This person or team is recognized for exceeding expectations and or demonstrating our core values (Ease, Value and Trust). Our newest recipient is someone who has been with us for almost 5 ½ years, and here is an amazing number that we want all of you to know about her: two seventy-two (272). That number, 272, represents the total number of globally recognized industry certifications (i.e. Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Adobe, etc.) her students achieved in 2019. Take that number, along with her “can do” attitude, and you have our one and only Mrs. Susan Somerville.
Susan is Senior Student Services Representative. Someone who gets to see first-hand how our programs can touch and change people’s lives. She handles anywhere between 60-80 students at a time, helping them complete their online training on time, practice & study for exams, assisting them in coordinating any special tutoring needs, documenting and distributing monthly reports to counselors, the list goes on and on. She is someone who is always smiling and looking at the positive in everything, even when she has to give a student some “tough love” and remind them of their “Why” and motivator to complete our online programs. Her work directly impacts our students and their success in achieving their end goal: gaining employment. She has changed many people’s lives.
Here is what some of the leaders who nominated her had to say: “Susan has an amazing ability to help her students’ progress and is a pro at having the ‘hard conversations’ with them.” Another person said “she’s very helpful in our Cedar office, has a wonderfully positive attitude, and strives each day to help her students succeed.” Another added “she truly lives our mission of improving employability for her students, every day.”
When we presented Susan with the award she was actually spending the day in our St. George, UT office sharing best practices to some of our newer student service representatives so they can do their jobs as effectively.
Congratulations Susan for a job well done. Keep being present, doing your job, and making LearnKey better every day!
At LearnKey we like to start the new year fast. So 2020 is here and we are super happy we just completed one of our most important goals: LearnKey’s new Certification and Support Program catalog. This truly is our calling card, as it gives you the opportunity to learn and access the great courses, career pathways/programs, and support we offer through our national online vocational school and education as a service business we provide to businesses and strategic partners.
For 2020 we expanded and added over twenty (20) enhanced career pathways with multiple levels (i.e. entry & advanced) as our research continues to validate that these are high in-demand jobs that lead to upward mobility careers. Specifically, in the areas of Cyber-Security, Help Desk, Networking, Cloud, Programming, and System Administration.
We hope you enjoy our catalog as we are very proud on how we present our offerings, products, and services to those schools, counselors, and organizations who want to help learners get jobs. Another skill in demand is communication, and a course we are pleased to be releasing this month is Communication Skills for Business, which maps to one of the first globally recognized industry certifications offered through Certiport.
We at LearnKey believe our catalog is the purest example of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Of course everyone knows our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day
Last week was a whirlwind! It started Friday, December 6th in our St. George corporate office. Both my wife and I were excited to meet our newest team member Shelbie Miller and catch up with recent “newbies” Paula Terry and Camille Wasek. We feel so fortunate to have such an amazing team.
Saturday morning we attended a team building event assisting in the move of Kimberly Johnson “aka” the collector! It was so exciting as she moved into her first new home! A beautiful place and we could not be more happy for Kim and her family. That night we had our holiday party for both St. George and Cedar City offices at Rusty’s Ranch House in Cedar City (see picture). What a turn out and congrats to Jessica Staples and Jordan Cook – winners of our Left, Right, Center Challenge.
Monday, December 9th we met with our St. George team members and I survived a BIG PRANK whereas Mr. Jared Baker decided to scare me with one of his friends who is an Arizona Sheriff, pretending to arrest him by chasing him out the building. All I can think about is how I plan to get back at him. What is that saying “Paybacks are a…”
Tuesday was fun filled as our LearnKey leadership team was sharing their end of year results and 2020 goals for next year. We are so proud as they will be presenting these findings to our board later this month. WE HAVE HAD A GREAT YEAR. That day we also did a “team building workout” with the entire staff lead by our Chief Employability Officer Ms. Beth Ciaramello. It was eye opening for all of us and a great way to improve our communication skills.
Wednesday we spent the majority of the day in our Cedar office again Ms. Ciaramello facilitated an awesome team building workout. Then it was off to Orem, UT.
Thursday we celebrated our partnership with Certiport providing lunch at their offices, followed up with a dinner that included both Certiport and GMetrix partners from their respective leadership teams. Our ask was – What can we do better to make the partnership stronger! The feedback was positive and with a focus of “keep doing what you are doing now because it is working”. Music to my ears.
Friday morning was spent with our GMetrix partner checking out their new offices and then lunch with one of our fearless leaders Marian Eckley. She has done an amazing job leading our entire production team this past year.
Saturday, December 14th, we had our holiday celebration with our Salt Lake City team at Carvers Steak & Seafood House in Sandy, UT (see picture). The service and food was fantastic but the company was incredible.
Throughout the entire trip the observations were consistent while the teams acknowledged we had success and growth this year, better than any of the past years, ALL THEY WANT TO DO IS GET BETTER. You see that is the mentality and culture of our teams always wanting to do better.
This week we end our holiday road trip with celebrations in Scottsdale with our Brighton College team members and the Know Your Talents team. Which again, will focus on a look back and more effort towards getting better.
My wife made it very clear as her observation was we should feel very blessed to have so many great people on the same page, with the same focus- HOW CAN WE GET BETTER.
Now that is a true team.