As we kick off the new year at LearnKey there is alot of excitement. We recently had everyone in the company write up their 2018 goals (i.e. courses released, students gaining certification/graduation/employment,etc.) and by the looks of it, we are going to be a big year. We plan on adding new offerings (i.e. language localization) and will be enhancing some of our courses with other learning facilitators.
Each month I will share a status on one of our goals. This month it is industry certification. Last year, we exceeded our goal, having our military veteran students achieve over 658 globally recognized industry IT & Career Ready Certifications in CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Windows, IC3, and more! That was a great accomplishment, as it aligns with our true “Why,” which is Improving Employability Every Day. This is a big one for us because it is a team effort to make sure our students succeed. Next year’s goal is to exceed over 800 certifications. Additionally, we expanded our offering of courses available through Certiport and on the GMetrix Platform, enabling thousands of other students in college and K-12 to have access to our certification courses.
We continue to see increased demand for soft/employability skills training with some of our most popular titles on Job Hunting in a Digital World, Know Your Talents, Making a Good Impression, Resume Skills, Business Ethics on the Job, and Be Careful Before You Click!
Speaking of soft/employability skills, be sure to read the article on “The surprising thing Google learned about its employees and what it means to today’s students”. Very interesting in 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach, communicating and listening well, possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view), having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues, being a good critical thinker and problem solver, and being able to make connections across complex ideas.
These skills are in demand at every level of an organization, which is why we are dedicated to making sure our Video-Based Digital Media Library of courses has over 225 titles on those important skills.
Our next big course release is CompTIA’s Security+, coming at the end of this month. We are really excited to make that available as this is one of our signature courses. You can find more info on our 2018 course release schedule here!
Here’s to a great start in 2018 and check back next month for another update.
Today I am pleased to announce the newest recipient of our Key Contributor Award, Chip Ehlers. This award is really about who in our companies embraces our core values, Ease, Value and Trust, and make key contributions so we can fulfill our “Why,” which is improving employability every day.
Chip, a 16-year LearnKey team member never shies away from any task that he is asked to do. From order entry 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. Here are some things that his nominating coworkers said about Chip:
Jared: Chip is the ultimate team player and does whatever is needed to help the team win. He isn’t above anything that he is asked. He rolls up his sleeves and figures out a way to get the job done. You can ALWAYS count on Chip.
Kim: When I think of Chip- he is always cool, calm, and collected. If deadlines change and he has to adjust his schedule – it’s always “no problem.”
Chad: Chip goes above and beyond in everything that he’s asked to do.
One of our programs has had strong growth over 30% the last two years. That means Chip’s workload has grown by that and never once has he asked for relief or additional help. His ability to handle multiple projects and tasks with critical deadlines is second to none. Most recently while in St. George I mentioned that we should probably look to clean up some of our storage areas by the end of the year, but when I came back two weeks ago Chip had it done. Did not have to ask twice, he took care of it. Again, way to go Chip!
Please join me in congratulating Chip on receiving this award and for sticking to our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust, but most importantly, he truly helps LearnKey Improve Employability Every Day!
Welcome to December, y’all!
It is officially official, my Remote Year experience has a launch date. On January 26, 2018, I will be flying from Phoenix to L.A., then on to Hong Kong, and finally landing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! The longest flight I have taken to date has been six hours from NYC to L.A., which is a stroll to the park compared to the 16-hour flight to Hong Kong. I can barely sit for six hours, let alone 16! Oy! Any tips for long flights are appreciated, so please feel free to comment. Also new in November, as part of the Remote Year program, we have gotten to meet our community! I have already spoken with several co-travelers that I will be with, and three are from Arizona! With even that limited information, this travel has become less daunting and mysterious and more welcoming. Enough about me…
In mid-October, I had the pleasure to work with LearnKey’s production team to create a marketing video for our sister company, Brighton College. I am giving a HUGE shout-out to the incredible work of Mer, Jason, Seth, and Neil. They create masterful videos with ease. If you have never been on a production shoot, it is NOT easy. I, the amateur, probably had 15 takes just to say, “the need is urgent”. Neil creatively edited the video, resulting in me sounding less awkward. Thanks Neil! Feel free to check out the video below. Side note: Neil and Seth have amazing taste in horribly-terrific holiday horror films.
The Job Ready Team is pleased to announce that three BO students were hired and started work in November! LearnKey is proud to improve employability every day! We are also giving our online Job Ready Resource Center a new look, launching in 2018. Please keep a lookout for the improved layout.
Wishing you all an inspired holiday season. Next blog will be from Kuala Lumpur!
Did I just have an unusually long blink? Where did September go? AND October is gone?!
Lots of exciting news from September, maybe that’s why it went by so fast…
It all started with getting to meet a LearnKey Alumni that relocated to AZ for an IT job at Spectrum. It was an honor to shake his hand and see the joy in his eyes brought on by finding a career in his field. LearnKey has assisted nine Blue Ocean graduates finding a new career in their field in the last six months.
Next, I was shocked by the final itinerary for my Remote Year experience! It could not have imagined a better list of places! Emotional roller coaster is a term that I continue to use to describe my experience but it is more like ton of happy, exciting, anxiety bricks hitting you at any moment, like when you are celebrating a moment with a friend who you may not see for an entire year, presenting a resume and interview workshop in Las Vegas, or ya know, just breathing, just hits you. Seeing the places in which I will live made this experience become very, very real. And, here they are https://remoteyear.com/itinerary-kanyini .
Speaking of that resume workshop and Interview workshop, I had the pleasure to work with an amazing company called Three Square. Three Square is Southern Nevada’s only food bank providing food assistance to the residents of Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda, and Clark counties. Three Square’s mission is to provide wholesome food to hungry people, while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community. We combine food banking (warehousing canned and boxed goods), food rescue (obtaining surplus or unused meats, bread, dairy and produce from hospitality and grocery outlets), and ready-to-eat meals to be the most complete food solution for Southern Nevada. They, in partnership with LearnKey, have stepped up to take its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, outreach efforts to the next level. Three Square approached the state with a proposal that it create a pilot program to train SNAP recipients in call-center work, with an eye toward becoming a certified third-party training provider.
I had the privilege to administer the Resume Writing and interview Workshop to the students in the pilot program for Three Square as of October 10, 2017, 3 out of the 5 participants have been hired.
- Went to the HeroZona Launch Luncheon for Arizona’s Veteran’s week, find more information here: https://www.herozona.com/
- Met with an AZ Congresswoman’s Community Liaison who mentioned that the VA is moving to hire more work-from-home customer services representatives, more information will be shared as it is received.
September 2017 has changed my life for the better with all the inspiring events. I look forward to sharing my October with y’all!
Yesterday, I had the honor to meet Cory Olsson (pictured with Beth Ciaramello and Gloria Klug), a military veteran from Alpena, MI, who completed the LearnKey Blue Ocean program. Cory recently relocated to El Mirage, Arizona, after accepting a position with Spectrum Technology Solutions in Phoenix, Arizona. Upon completing the program, Beth Ciaramello, LearnKey’s Job Ready Manager, worked with Cory to gain employment. This is the best part of the job: meeting someone who completed our program and now has the skills to succeed in IT.
At LearnKey we are so passionate about “Improving Employability Every Day” for our customers that when we have an opportunity to learn about one of our own student’s success it just makes it all worth it. Cory is the one we are most proud of as our program is not easy. Beth raved about what an amazing student Cory was and how he had the skills, smarts, and right attitude to be successful. Spectrum Technology Solutions is a great company and Gloria Klug, Owner/VP Business Development, is excited to have Cory as part of her team.
Again, it is an honor to watch learners succeed in our program and gain employment, as it builds the motivation for all of us to create the best employability learning solutions on the planet.
I am pleased to announce our 2017 2nd Quarter Key Contributor Award goes to Brian Tremelling. He has shown us from the beginning over 8 years ago that when you believe in something, most importantly yourself, dreams can come true. This award is a big deal for our company as it is given to those that really demonstrate our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust, as well as our “Why” which is Improving Employability Every Day.
One of Brian’s most proud accomplishments is how he led the way in building our vocational rehab programs, but what you don’t see is his passion, commitment, and dedication to the stuff that is not fun. Building course bundles, creating and automating process flows, dealing with the internal and external challenges that come when you are focused on progressing our students so they reach their employability goals. However, this past quarter, in addition to managing the program, getting us approved in other states, and 110% dedicated to improving our process and technology, to make other jobs easier he alone took on technical work in order to enhance our student information system (SIS). The entire team got a sneak peak at it three weeks ago and are so excited to roll it out. We are close, very close – Brian led that cause and through bumps and roadblocks he handled it like a pro!
His peers were excited to hear what former Key Contributor Award Winners had to say about Brian:
Jason Manibog says Brian is a great organizer, always helping production, and always has the students’ best interest in mind. Wyett Ihler shared: “I am impressed with Brian’s dedication and ability to stick to something when he has a belief. That passion has served us so well. Willing to assert but does so in a very respectful manner.” Ben Lee: “Brian is a great friend who always tries to understand/listen to the people he works with. Doesn’t give up when he believes in something.” Tristan Roberts: “Brian Keeps an open mind and always receptive to change for the better of the student and LK. Always gives an honest opinion.” Kim Johnson: “Astounded by vast knowledge base, curricula, team player, always has the best interest of LearnKey.”
So you hear: Passion, belief, team player, good listener, honest, respectful. I’d like to second all of those as he and I will always be tied together for dealing with our fair share of challenge, opportunities, and positive outcomes. He reconfirmed that if you do the right thing, things have a way of working out.
Please join me in once again congratulating Brian on his many contributions to LearnKey!
At LeanKey if you need help with a marketing piece, ask Beau. If you need help creating a newsletter, ask Beau. If you need to learn how we process student reports, ask Beau. If you need help creating a CTE/K-12 online marketing campaign, ask Beau. Website redesign ideas, ask Beau. So what has become perfectly clear? “Beau knows”!
Which is why it was exciting to announce earlier this week that Beau Shakespear was named Better Learning Systems/LearnKey’s 2017 Q1 Key Contributor Award winner. He is someone that truly demonstrates our core values: Ease, Value and Trust. He is by far one of the easiest team members to work with, and always displays a “can do” attitude. As noted above by the many “hats” he wears he has significant value, but it truly is the trust and respect he has from his peers that sets him apart. It is really hard to find anyone who is more of a team player than Beau, and when it comes to our “Why” he truly is all about “improving employability every day.”
Here are some of his key accomplishments over this past quarter:
- Played a key role in the new design of our LearnKey.com website
- Facilitated the new design of our tradeshow banners
- Revised VA Catalogs – Worked patiently as they were re-worked close to four times over the past year (DI, VA, & Voc Rehab) and accomplished it down to one catalog now.
- Created a tracking method and follow-up process for all new BO Students
- Reviewed 50+ resumes and LinkedIn profiles
He accomplished the above in addition to managing a busy VA student workload and always coordinating the monthly LKVS newsletters. When members of the leadership team nominated Beau they used words like: rock star, dedication, focus, accuracy, respect, ultimate team player, even keel, nice, never a bad attitude, helpful, and “can do attitude” to describe him. Beau is no stranger to awards; three years ago he was recognized as LearnKey’s employee of the month.
Again, please join me in congratulating Beau for receiving this award. We are fortunate to have great employees, who are great team members and share our passion around “Improving Employability Every Day”!
Today is a big day as it is our 30-year anniversary! Back in 1987, John Clemons, our Chairman and founder of the company, officially launched LearnKey.
He had no idea the journey the company would take; he was just a young man who figured out there was a need in using video to train people how to use operating systems, software, technology, soft skills, professional development, and other topics that could help people improve their employability skills.
LearnKey would go on to help tens of thousands of people improve their job status or achieve first time IT careers through training. It started with offering courses on VHS, then CD-ROM (thanks to his brother David), then the Internet via OnlineExpert.com. Every step of the way this company figured out how to re-invent itself. At first it was a Business to Consumer (B-C) offering, then Business to Business (B-B), and each and every step of the way LearnKey figured it out.
That is because the most successful piece of the business is the great people along the way who made LearnKey what it is today. There are hundreds of employees to thank for that, starting with some who have been with us for a very long time.
Names like: Wendi Mangum, Scott Walker, Michael Watson, Chad Stocks, Jared Baker, Chip Ehlers, Wyett Ihler and Bart Giddings just to name a few are still with us today and for that we (John, David, Lori and I) are truly grateful. We started the celebration earlier this month by hosting some meals for the team; check out some of the pictures and you will see a few of the team members.
Speaking of employees today, I embark on a trip through Utah to celebrate with those named above, and our other current employees. The trip will start in Salt Lake City visiting with our production team, then to Cedar City for some fun with our post production team, and will finally hit St. George by way of LearnKey’s corporate offices for a final celebration.
Next week I will post pictures of the journey as we are proud to continue to do great work by Improving Employability Every Day.
Congratulations LearnKey and the entire team, for it has been 30 years and I sense we will continue to celebrate in another 30 years!.
In January, Better Learning Systems announced our 2016 4th quarter Key Contributor Award winner, and not only was this person well deserving but she also is about our true “Why,” which is Improving Employability Every Day!
It gives me great pleasure to announce Ms. Jessica Staples as our most recent Key Contributor award winner, someone who is quite familiar with being awesome! She is in good company as previous winners include: Jason Manibog, Kim Johnson & Wyett Ihler, Sarah Blik & Melanie Benitez and of course the rockstar LearnKey Technical Support team!
Jessica is a key member of our LearnKey Veteran Services team, making it through some major transitions over the past few years to help streamline and improve the program. She is also celebrating three (3) years with LearnKey this month. She is a true team player who constantly demonstrates our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust every day!
During the 4th Quarter, Jessica was an enormous help with training and mentoring our newest VSR, Nina Sepulveda. With her extensive knowledge of the program and eagerness to help, she made the onboarding of Nina an easy process. We can’t thank her enough for her contribution as a team player. When things didn’t work perfectly or go according to plan, she made it work for her students and for LearnKey. She is extremely detailed and every one of her students has nothing but great things to say about her. When she takes on a task we can trust she will get it done, and with all of the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
In 2016 our LearnKey Veteran Services Team assisted students in achieving over 285 certifications, with Jessica directly supporting 128 of those certifications! Her dedication to helping our students achieve their goals is a true example of value.
Again, please join me in congratulating Jessica for her spirited team work, “can do attitude,” and overwhelming positive and motivational support she provides our student base. She is a great reflection of what it means to be “Improving Employability Every Day”.
It is all about better communication resulting in a better customer experience.
It’s a no-brainer that bad customer service will cost your company business. But it turns out employees’ behavior toward each other can affect your bottom line, too.
So the question is: are your employees properly job ready trained in the areas of dealing with difficult customers, meeting consumer needs, the art of customer service, listening under pressure, workplace ethics, email etiquette, social media at work, and bullying in the workplace?
A well-known study of retailer Sears revealed that a five-point improvement in employee attitude results in a 1.3% increase in customer satisfaction, which then drives an 0.5% increase in company revenue.
Which is why LearnKey’s 2017 video-based training series on customer service is the perfect solution for your organization. It’s relevant for today’s workforce, high quality, available anytime/anywhere, and can help you deliver a solid ROI for both your business customers and, most importantly, your employees.
In today’s digital world it’s all about the customer experience:
What is customer experience and why is it important?
Customer experience is your customers’ perceptions of how your company treats them. These perceptions affect their behaviors, build memories and feelings, and may drive their loyalty. In other words, if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you and recommend you to others. Note: If one of your customers has a bad experience there is less than a 10% chance they will tell you about it, but they will choose not to do business with you in the future.
Why should you focus on improving your customer experience?
According to a recent walker study, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as a key differentiator. By now it should be clear that customer service can no longer be relegated to the basement of your brand’s focus. It must be front and center of your organization, alongside marketing, as a priority focus for customer interaction and retention.
Contact us today for a no-cost proof of concept on how this training can improve your ROI.