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.
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.
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.
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.
When you have great people it drives the engine of success for your company. Our newest Key Contributor Award Winner- Jacob Gardner is right at the center of that engine. Because of his work ethic over the past four (4) years, respect he has gained from his peers, he epitomizes our core values; Ease, Value and Trust. Every day he comes in and seamlessly does his job better than anyone can on the planet. Technical support, computer ordering (a big part of his job that has doubled over the past year), testing, telecom support he does it all and always as if it is no big deal.
We always talk about our “Why”- Improving Employability Every Day. Jacob knows the work he does directly ties to helping our customers: counselors, K-12 students, adult learners and veterans gain the key skills and industry certifications they need to improve their employability skills.
Just like last quarters Key Contributor Award Winner , a team member who is well respected, we are very fortunate to have him as part of our technical support team working in at our headquarters in St. George, Utah.
Please join me in congratulating Jacob for a job well done.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.