Today I am please to announce our Key Contributor award winners for Q4 2017: Val Deuel, Bart Giddings, Sheena Chamberlain, and Leigh Kulbacki.
Just like all our employees, they play a very important role in our company, as one of the most important aspects to our business is making sure that all of our digital employability learning solutions have the proper grammar and spelling for all our assessments, labs, and written content. They must also ensure all our video training has the quality so we always deliver an exceptional learning experience. Thanks to our awesome Quality Control team they are always there to catch all the errors and help us avoid re-work.
This past year they took it one step further by taking on transcribing and closed captioning most of our courses released in 2017. That was an amazing accomplishment as the results were transcribing 51 sessions and completing the closed captioning for 31 sessions. This resulted in a 27% increase in productivity!
Our “why” is improving employability every day. My goal is to make sure that everyone in the company knows how they impact that why. I am proud of this team as they truly know the importance of their role in our company and really stand for our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust!
Please join me and the rest of the LearnKey/Better Learning Systems family in congratulating them on this great accomplishment, and one thing is for sure: they are not going to like that I wrote this blog without them checking it before it gets posted! But what the heck, sometimes you have to go out on the edge. After all, it’s the thought that counts!
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.
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.
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”!
Greetings, one and all. I hope you all had a good January. The snow and cold around here means no golf for me which means no fun, but, I digress. I’m here to talk upcoming courses, as in what our crew has been filming and putting together for upcoming releases. This month, we actually filmed three of these and I’m here to fill you all in on what we are working on and how these courses will help your certification prospects and your employability. After all, our CEO, Jeff Coruccini, penned a couple of weeks ago our vision of Improving Employability Everyday, something I always have in mind when playing the architect for these courses. Now, onto our upcoming courses:
This course is going to be the fifth and final course on Office 2016 and will cover the material needed for the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) exam for Microsoft Access, exam 77-730. This exam, and the course, has five main topics: Creating and managing databases, building tables, creating queries, creating forms, and creating reports. We cover all of that material. However, having helped companies large and small build Access databases for the better part of 15 years, this much I know: One has to have a good handle on the concept of relational database design and on how to go about proper planning for a database in order to be successful with Access. So even though those two topics are not on the exam, we cover those as well.
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
What does a bowling ball have to do with programming? Well, to find out, you will want to take our upcoming Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming course. Seriously, though, many people think, or are told, that the first step in learning programming is to learn code. As this course will detail, learning code comes after we learn about objects and their characteristics, designing programs, and designing program workflow. The code, then, is just the result of the plan and then becomes easier to learn. This is also the first course in our new programming tracks of courses, something this space will detail more of very soon.
MTA Security Fundamentals
Over the last year, Microsoft has made strides in updating their MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification program. The MTA program is a great entry-level certification program in the areas of development, databases, and IT infrastructure. Microsoft has “refreshed” the 98-349 exam for Operating System Fundamentals, which I detailed recently, to remove Windows 7-only content and add Windows 10 content. That course will be out sometime this spring.
Another course that has gotten a “refresh” in objectives is the Security Fundamentals course for the 98-367 exam. The core topics of understanding security layers, operating system security, understanding network security, and understanding security software are still there, but they have been updated to reflect the current trends in basic security fundamentals. So, we are doing the same with this course.
Each of these courses will have the usual video training, along with pre-assessments and post-assessments, practice labs, and many helpful test tips (for the Access 2016 and MTA Security Fundamentals courses).
So, with improving employability prospects and certification prospects in three areas: databases, programming, and security, hey, maybe January isn’t such a bad month after all, even without the golf.
As we start the new year it’s a great time to remind our learners, students, teachers, and career counselors about the two (2) key ingredients that ensure we focus on our “what we do”: Improving Employability Everyday.
At LearnKey we believe that our passion around “what we do” and our “descriptive behaviors” is what drives our culture.
Every team member in our company knows that our “What we do” is aligned to these three words: Improving Employability Everyday. We started redefining our true purpose as an organization through Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle, over three years ago and truly believe it is the fabric, along with our descriptive behaviors, that drive our culture.
We are so fanatical about this belief that any new employee team members (i.e. welcome most recently: Neil Olsen and Nina Sepulveda) must know that they must possess these key behaviors and understand “The Golden Circle” BEFORE they are even hired. Because the moment they start, that accountability to our customers and team members begin.
My goal is to meet with every team member throughout the year and remind and reinforce my commitment to them and that I will be held most accountable to those behaviors. Therefore, it is good to once again share these with you and the entire world:
Our “Why, How and What”:
“Why”: Dreams fulfilled through better learning.
“How”: Personalized learning solutions that teach job readiness skills, leverage your natural talents, and are aligned to in-demand careers.
“What”: Improving Employability Everyday.
Our seven (7) fundamentals that describe our employee culture:
Be a fanatic about response time. People expect us to respond to their questions and concerns quickly, and rapid response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out.
Set clear expectations. So there are no misunderstandings, and remember to clarify all the time. This avoids any miscommunications.
Welcome innovation. Creativity in our products and offerings can be produced and packaged differently to meet customers’ needs.
Be a great listener. Understanding expectations and customer needs is the way we want to do business. The best talker is a good listener.
Do your homework. Be prepared for customers, product ideas, referrals, team member support, and the best way to show you’re serious.
Be a problem solver. Solve a problem, fill a need, is how we should do business with customers and in assisting other team members.
Leverage team members. To get things done, meet deadlines, and fulfill customers’ needs. Two heads are better than one.
Welcoming in the new year is a good time for me to give thanks to our team who, day in and day out, commit to themselves, as well as the learners, counselors, and teachers we support that “what we do” is focused on Improving Employability Everyday.
Also, a special thanks to Simon Sinek and the CEO’s of Vistage Group 508 who remind me all the time how important it is to have our message clear and concise.
“Improving Employability Everyday”
CEO- LearnKey, INC.