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!
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”.
Our Key Contributor Award is a true reflection of our culture. Recognizing employees who go about their work with pride of ownership and demonstrating our core values along the way. It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of our 3rd Quarter Key contributor award LearnKey employee’s Ben Lee, Tristan Roberts and Jacob Gardner who make up our “Lights Out Technical Support Team”
During July, August and September these guys released a major software update to our Learning Management Platform OnlineExpert.com and one of our client dedicated servers. It was the largest software upgrade performed in well over 10 years. Additionally, they supported the GMetrix Project which required allot of testing and implementation support.
They also re-negotiated one of our most costly contracts successfully reducing it by over 70%. To top it off they did that with a 40% reduction in staff. These initiatives we all deadline drive and they worked together, as a team to meet every critical deadline.
Every step of the way they demonstrated our core values (Ease, Value & Trust) by being Easy it is to work, showing real Trust something we know is earned whether its meeting deadlines, ensuring our networks are operational, or testing that needed to be completed they always delivered on time each and every time. Value– is something they bring to work every day. We could not be more proud of their work and how they go about it.
Just like our previous winners, please join me in congratulating them for a job well done as I could not be more proud of this team!
Last week Better Learning Systems announced the recipients of our 2016 2nd quarter Key Contributor Awards. One of the key benefits of this announcement is I use it as an opportunity to remind our team members of how important a role our core values, Ease, Value, & Trust, have in this accomplishment.
You see this award truly rolls up to making sure those individuals exemplify our core values, and the one thing that stays constant is they can’t do it alone; it takes a team. Our past recipients, Kim Johnson, Wyett Ihler, and Jason Manibog are big team players and truly support any team member they can.
Speaking of support we also had a theme this past year and it has been SUPPORT. There is a ton of that going on within our companies – it truly is part of our culture. Our production teams, mobile workforce, sales/client services, Veteran Services team, technical support teams, and administrative support working together is what is helping drive our success.
One team that really jumped out year-to-date was our Know Your Talents team. The behavioral consulting arm of the company is not only living our core values and supporting one another, they have also increased revenues 200% vs. same period last year.
That is why it gives me great pleasure to announce the Better Learning Systems Key Contributor Award winners for the 2nd quarter are Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik!
Sarah has had such a great year with her new sales and growth of existing customers. The largest to date for Sarah has been the Sundt/DPR joint ventures that she has sold. AND she continues to gain referrals across the country due to her success and relationships built with all the Executive Directors of the projects. Sarah has also launched us into the Title and Escrow industry, setting up a paid speaking engagement as general speaker to 200 plus executives. This is now an industry that we are beginning to circulate in which there are not many competitors. Customers always have and do love Sarah. For fun, if you know her ask her why people call her ‘Gnat’!
As for Melanie, she has almost 5 times the amount of workshops on her plate, which includes coordinating, printing, and follow up exercises after each and every workshop. She creates a ‘turn-key’ box of all ProScans, workbooks, badges, handouts, and framed certificates for each workshop and her contributions make everyone’s (all facilitators) jobs so much easier. Melanie has developed such tremendous relationships with all clients from a customer service standpoint. As we have had two large national accounts launch this year with ‘unlimited platinums,’ (Creative Testing Solutions, in all Blood Systems facilities, and HealthPlanOne) it requires a ton of coordination from the beginning of implementation and integration throughout the entire company, and Melanie has been in the forefront making this happen. Her Tutor Tuesdays now compete with Tristan’s at LearnKey in that she is gaining more and more attendance each week.
Both Sarah & Melanie make it Easy for our customers to work with them, as well as always bring Value to the equation, and we know there is no better way to build relationships unless there is a lot of Trust. That’s our core values at work.
Please join me in congratulating both of them for their great accomplishments this past year.
ACTE 2015 has come and gone, and, as always, LearnKey was part of it. Scott Walker and Jared Baker, two of LearnKey’s sales representatives, manned our ACTE booth in New Orleans, and we recently caught up with them to ask them a few questions about LearnKey’s involvement in the show.
- Why is it important that you attend shows like ACTE?
- What LearnKey product did people ask you about the most?
- What schools or companies stopped by our booth?
- We premiered the new LearnKey Certification Highway at ACTE. Did you have a chance to show anyone? What was their reaction?
- Who won the drawing for the watch and headsets?
- What is the core message that you try to convey to everyone you talk to at a trade show?
Scott: Several reasons. To see exciting clients. It’s a great place to visit with numerous clients and also a great opportunity for them to meet one another. This particular conference is great for new leads. It’s who we deal with. It’s important for them to see us and learn that we service all areas of the country.
Jared: It is the main national show that all of our solutions align to perfectly.
Scott: Microsoft Office, Adobe, and Career Readiness had a lot of interests.
Jared: Office, Adobe, and career readiness courses. Many people associated our career readiness courses with “work-based learning.”
Scott: School District of Palm Beach; Jefferson Parrish, LA; Iberia Parish, LA; East Baton Rouge Parish, LA; West Baton Rouge Parish, LA; Vermillion Parish, LA; Livingston Parish, LA; Tammany Parish, LA; Erie School District, PA; Philadelphia School District, PA; Alpine School District, UT; Washington School District; Jefferson District, KY.
Jared: NYC Schools, Clark County, Minneapolis, APS, University of New Mexico, Houston, and Dallas.
Scott: I didn’t actually have the opportunity to show anyone.
Jared: It was a hit. It was a great way to get people excited about a student’s pathway to a career.
Scott: Chris Broussard from Iberia Parish won the watch, Ronnie Pocorello from East Baton Rouge won a headset.
Jared: Alexa Wheeler, University of New Mexico Graphics professor.
Scott: We are the best Curriculum provider, in not only Industry Certifications but Career Readiness and preparation for job readiness.
Jared: Every student is not going to college and this gives LearnKey a chance to help each student with a certification pathway to a career.
Thanks to all those who stopped by our booth this year, and congratulations to Chris, Ronnie, and Alexa!
On May 6, Lori Coruccini, co-founder of Better Learning Systems and LearnKey’s sister company Know Your Talents, Inc., is scheduled to speak at Riding the Wild Haboob, an event for intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) providers.
Lori’s presentation will cover employee engagement and driving company success through the passion and commitment of employees. Other presenters include John Dacey, a health law attorney, and Tom Schramski, PhD, President of Vertess Advisors.
For more information about the event, visit knowyourtalents.com.
Know Your Talents partners with ASU’s Pat Tillman Center to Support Boots 2 Suits Program
The Boots to Suits Program through the Pat Tillman Center at ASU is designed to assist veteran students by taking their military skills and education and training and connecting them with the right sources that can help them leverage opportunities for career placement.
The goal of the program is to match veteran students with Corporate Executive Leaders within the community that will mentor them towards reaching their goal of that dream job. Students are matched with mentors based on their natural behaviors as well as their intended career path. In February, the initial launching of the program, a mentor/mentee matching event took place. An estimated 30 students were paired with Executive Leaders from all types of industries, with both the mentor and the mentee receiving a copy of their individual ProScan reports. The ProScan was part of the initial introduction – what an awesome way for them to get to know and understand one another!!
If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please call us today! 480-349-8900
This post originally appeared as part of the Know Your Talents Spring 2015 Newsletter.