Wow, this year is going fast, and as we reflect on the first quarter of this year we were thrilled to hear we had over thirty (30) veteran students get placed in jobs the first quarter of this year. It was also nice to see that the entry level IT Professional annual salary was over $65,000 a year. Additionally, we set a record for the number of certifications achieved by our students in March, topping over 143! IT certifications are a great way to demonstrate competency with potential employers and hiring managers.
What is next? How about our new messaging: Know Me. Grow Me. Include Me. Inspire Me. This is something we are so excited about as it matches who we are and what we want to do with our corporate customers, as well as the students that complete our signature Blue Ocean programs. It’s all about growth, development, investing, and engaging with people that make a great culture.
The fact that we can take feedback from corporate customers and incorporate that feedback into our courses, it gives us a competitive advantage, as we know exactly what customers are looking for in the new world remote/hybrid workforce. Example is when an employer survey shares that the top three life skills/reasons graduates fail in the workforce are Emotional Intelligence, Coachability, and Motivation, you can bet we are going to focus on it within our courseware and our employability team.
Here we grow! February is almost over, and boy are we busy. We have onboarded amazing new team members (Donna, Sydney, Sarah, and Larae) and in last month’s blog we were reflecting on the holidays. Now we are less than a week away from March. Q1 2022 is almost over- yikes!
Super excited about our amazing production team. Our Senior Instructor Jason Manibog just finished up Network+, and now he and our production team are already filming A+. These are super big LearnKey Signature courses and our production team is on it.
CompTIA is a signature track for LearnKey and, just as we did last year with CompTIA’s new Security+, our team has created an amazing learning scenario to be the theme of this course.
Since I joined LearnKey in 2011, we have always incorporated scenario-based learning as part of our theme for every signature course we produce. It really puts relevance to learning, and that is what we are all about.
Next month I will share some exciting news about our messaging for 2022.
It was so awesome to have holiday party celebrations this past year, and then before you know it, it is 2022.
This had to be the fastest holiday season ever! The month of December was filled with awesome holiday parties starting with our Know Your Talents Holiday Party on Thursday, December 9th, in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Pubblico Italian Eatery. It was fun to celebrate the holiday as well as moving into our new office located: 10446 N 74th St Suite 100, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (southeast corner of Shea Blvd and Scottsdale Rd.)
Next stop was St. George, Utah, for a great virtual party on Wednesday, December 15th. I have to say more folks enjoyed that than I ever would have imagined. We had gingerbread contests, music contests, and really made a good time of it. Then we had our party at Milt’s in Cedar City, Utah, Friday, December 17th. We had over forty (40) employees, spouses, and significant others for a wonderful celebration. The air was chill, plenty of stars out up the canyon – a great time. Then the Salt Lake City team had their party Saturday, December 18th, at Rodizio Grill in downtown, which was a blast. Lots of people, protein, and crazy conversation.
It was so well needed for us to reconnect, and we started the first of the year by having an awesome knowledge drop covering LearnKey’s 2022 course production schedule last week!
This week it is all about finalizing goals with each team and I cannot be more proud of how focused and on point everyone is as we continue to focus on getting better every day.
Last week in our St. George, UT office we were fortunate enough to have lunch and celebrate Chip Ehlers twenty (20) year anniversary with LearnKey!
He is one of the most well-respected, hardworking, smart, and dedicated team members you will ever meet. Over the years Chip has been recognized for his great contributions as he has won recognition for his “can do attitude” many times. His peers were proud to be part of the celebration as Chip is someone we all greatly appreciate having on our team.
He wears many hats when it comes to his role at LearnKey from order entry, invoicing, inventory management and fulfillment to printing and shipping catalogs, Chip never says ‘it can’t be done.’ Of course he is most famous in the St. George office for serenading his coworkers when a catchy song comes on the radio, but its been a while:)
Thank you Chip you truly exemplify our core values: Ease – your easy demeanor, Value– Your work speaks for itself and Trust – well “In Chip we trust”
When people trust you, they do business with you. Our newest Key Contributor Award Winner (okay, she has actually received this award before) exemplifies that tenfold.
That is why I am thrilled to announce Melanie Benitez as our 2021 2nd Quarter Key Contributor Award winner! This past year, like many other years, Melanie has won the trust of not only her team members but also our clients.
Melanie has been at the forefront of Managing Customer Success for Know Your Talents, the Corporate Division of LearnKey. Here is what her team members said during the nomination “Melanie epitomizes our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust. She has done a fabulous job at creating our ‘stickiness’ with our Enterprise Development Solution clients. As a result they are becoming smarter, successful with PDP, and more educated than ever before due to the process and solutions Melanie and her team are providing for them. ”
Melanie and her team are now providing continuous webinars, Mentor Certifications, and 1-1 coaching to the tune of 100s of hours with leaders within our customer base. This has driven much more growth to the business and she has been responsible for ensuring the renewals and exceeding customer expectations for our valued clients, naming a few that include HPone, Pioneer Title, and Creative Testing Solutions.
One quality Melanie possesses above and beyond is her ability to gain tremendous client loyalty. This comes from who she is, which is an amazing team member and someone we are so grateful to have on our team.
Please join me in congratulating Melanie — once again!
Now more than ever corporate customers are coming to LearnKey to power-up their online continuing education programs for their employee’s, leadership teams and owners.
Organizations are scrambling to implement programs so they can keep their existing employee’s and lure in new talent as every company is challenged to maintain and add staff. Here are a few of our offerings that make up our Enterprise Development Solutions which we customize for each client:
- Continuing Education Solution: Here is a good read on how important offering continuing education programs to upskill employee’s is as now considered a big part of employee benefits. That is why just learning how to learn online is also an important skill to obtain forever more. Companies are moving away from in person training and knowing how to learn online is the future.
- Pre-Hire Academy Solution: This is somewhat new and “out of the box” and if done right can not only attract/pre-qualify candidates – it can be a nice good faith of “corporate social responsibility” by offering education/training that leads to a job within communities. Instead of using the same old traditional job boards for acquiring new talent. Offer it to those that have the willingness to learn a skill.
- Vocational Readiness Programs: Here is where we have a huge advantage over our competitors. We have corporate customers on that our on boarding this month who utilize LearnKey signature courses to create an offering they administer and offer their customers. LearnKey also has their open enrollment program available to anyone.
- Employability Services: Organizations utilizing any of the above solutions are keen on utilizing our services and assistance with job leads, mock interviews, and resume tips. Additionally, they like having resources to tap into from time to time when it comes to placement assistance for students who graduate from our certification programs.
These are the core education as a service (EaaS) offerings we provide along with our behavioral foundation, which drives a truly successful learning experience.
These are very interesting times in how important continuous education is for our country. We have millions of adults who ware lacking skills for todays in demand jobs. Let’s get them certified.
Last Friday July 9th, the LearnKey Utah and Arizona teams got together to reconnect and introduce our newest Know Your Talents and Brighton team members who took the trip from Arizona. With over thirty-four (34) attending we enjoyed great food and got to hear from our founder John Clemons talk about how he created the first course (WordPerfect) back in 1987 founded the company and brought along LearnKey’s first computer, old newspaper magazines, the original accounting ledger, old shirts, pictures, courses in VHS, DVDS and great company history. Then afterwards he broke out his guitar and played great music for an hour or so.
This is the first time we have been able to get together in a large group setting in over seventeen (17) months and everyone had a blast. We talked about how the entire company works so amazing together as one team and how everyone is “connected and are always there for one another”. There is no me its WE and we all do our best to not let any of our team members down.
I reminded them of the great NFL Head Coach Bill Walsh who said ” if you can get people to laugh and trust you, you can get them to be serious too.” The entire LearnKey team is a true champion.
David Clemons, LearnKey’s former President also shared what he has been up to the past three years launching his HERO non-lethal safety pistol. One of the surprises is all the LearnKey employee’s received safety training and HERO 2020 non-lethal pistols. It was our way as owners sharing that we care for them and here is a way we can help them protect themselves. He and his team took the time to teach everyone how to shoot it and protect themselves. It was an awesome afternoon.
To top things off our Kelly Woods brought up his box/race car and cruised it up and down the canyon. Then our very own Sheena Chamberlain took it for a ride which was the icing on the cake to complete a great afternoon of fun.
I am reminded how truly fortunate we are to have great people, all sharing the same goal to help our customers “Improve their Employability Skills Every Day”.
We are so proud of our LearnKey Production team. At LearnKey these days of summer are always super busy getting ready for updating our key certification pathways and rolling out new ones. With schools back to school in less than sixty (60) days we need to make sure our diverse course library is ready come August.
Big shout out to: JJ, Natasha, Dallas, Mer, Seth, Neil, Brad, Bill, Krista, Sheena, Shar, Annalise, Max, Kaitlin, Shelly, Daniel, Jason, Val, Bart and I probably missed a few (not) they are just pedal to the metal.
Entrepreneurship: Our Entrepreneurship Small Business Certification (ESB v2) update this summer as well. This ESB program has come along way and does a great job addressing the skills required to become self employed and or truly start your own business.
Growing Popularity: Requests for improving communication skills is a topic on the rise. One thing has become very clear teachers, counselors and students want relevant content that covers these basic key skills. Especially for those getting ready to or already in the job market. We have seen a significant interest in this topic and the course we did with Jennifer Stubblefield titled “Communication Skills for Business” is one of our most popular courses right now!
Till next month – Stay cool!
This year has been filled with new acquisitions like Know Your Talents and most recently the addition of Brighton College. With these exciting additions to the LearnKey family it takes a tremendous amount of work to ensure a smooth transition for our employees, their benefits, and ensuring a smooth onboarding to LearnKey. Then you have the accounting, reporting, IT systems, work, and process flows that need to be integrated; oh, plus you have to continue to run the business. Additionally, since the pandemic LearnKey has been in a growth mode, so there has been new hire on-boarding which is so different in today’s world.
This is where Chad Stocks and Wendi Magnum, two 20-year-plus employees of LearnKey have stepped up big time and earned the Key Contributor Award Winners for the first quarter of 2021!
While things are hectic, exciting, and growing, you need those cool, calm, and collective a.k.a. high pace, high conformance (that’s KYT talk) team members who consistently keep things moving smoothly in the background. And they did that 10 times over for us.
“Chad and Wendi not only welcomed in our newest team members they also rolled out a new benefits plan at the end of last year without a glitch.” said one of the nominating managers. “Wendi came to work every day during the pandemic these past 13 months and never once complained about it.” said another team member.
These two also demonstrate LearnKey’s core values through doing. They are both extremely easy to work with, employees trust them, confide in them, and look to them for guidance all the time. The value they have brought to LearnKey over the last 20+ years is something we will always be grateful for as it is their way of demonstrating our “why” – Improving Employability Every Day!
Once again congratulations on a job well done.
Brighton & The Paralegal Institutes short term career pathways aligns with LearnKey’ strategy to expand into healthcare and legal.
Last week was another exciting milestone with LearnKey acquiring 100% of Brighton College & The Paralegal Institute. We have owned 50% of Brighton since 2014 and taking full ownership is something we are very excited about.
It has been over a year in the making, however, the pandemic through some challenges our way, but we made happen this year and that is good news. We continue to focus on our goal of increasing career pathway offerings in in high job demand fields like: Allied Health , Legal Medical and Paralegal studies.
More exiting news is our course production team is having an amazing month with wrapping up our newest Security+ course, and preparing our IT Specialist track along with much more in our quest to always be “improving employability every day” for our students, teachers, counselors and partners.