Initiative to Upskill American Workers Has Attracted 25,000 to Free, Online Training
EmployBridge announced, that their innovative Better WorkLife Academy has reached a milestone enrollment of 25,000 workers. Since its inception in 2017, in partnership with the online learning and skills training leader Penn Foster, EmployBridge’s Better WorkLife Academy has offered a wide range of career-focused courses, all available at no cost to the men and women who help the company provide contingent labor solutions through its specialty workforce divisions.
“We want to provide our associates every opportunity to improve their skills and career prospects, as evidenced by our significant investment in our Better WorkLife Academy,” said Tom Bickes, CEO of EmployBridge, noting the rapid growth the program has experienced in its two years of existence. “There is a growing skills gap crisis in our country, but we know blue-collar workers are hungry for skills-building opportunities. We rely on these workers to advance our economies and industries; we wanted to show them they can rely on us to provide them with opportunities for advancement.”
The Better WorkLife Academy is also a solution for EmployBridge’s nearly 10,000 clients in helping alleviate the challenges of the skilled talent shortage U.S. businesses face today. EmployBridge has taken a unique approach to building the learning opportunities available through its Better WorkLife initiative and has since expanded the offerings to include The LifeSkills Studio and High School Diploma programs for all applicants and associates.
The LifeSkills Studio is intended to enhance the lives of employees outside of the workplace. With a goal of personal development, classes in stress management, budgeting and goal setting, and professional communication help employees feel better equipped to handle their personal lives, which, in turn, has a positive impact on their work life.
EmployBridge also created the High School Diploma program, an affordable, online pathway to high-school graduation. Participating employees enhance their earning potential and open doors in their career that previously were closed to them.
“Earning a high school diploma is among the biggest indicators for higher earning potential. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a person who does not complete the diploma will be financially affected by that decision over their lifetime by possibly $270,000 or more over 30 working years,” said Cathi Canfield, vice president of associate experience and advancement at EmployBridge. “Getting a high school diploma can be the most important decision one of our associates can make in their lives, and we want to provide a pathway to achieve this milestone. It affects them and their families, financially and emotionally.”
The Better WorkLife Academy also recently introduced a badging system, which allows workers to earn skill badges throughout their classes, rather than waiting until the end of the class to reap the benefits of knowledge gained. By attaining digital badges, workers are able to market their new skills and instantly become more valuable to their employers.
“Rather than having to wait until the 80-hour program is finished to share their completed list of skills, they are able to show their new talents off as they earn them,” said Canfield, noting that more than 50% of the Better WorkLife Academy’s recent participants are actively posting their new digital badges on social media accounts like LinkedIn and Facebook. “This benefits the employer immensely, as they are able to identify their top performing employees, and it builds employee confidence through positive achievements. With real-time insight into their initiative and hard work, employers are able to invest more time and energy into the workers who have shown commitment to continuing their career growth.”
California, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizona have been the top five states for participation, with the most popular courses being Administrative Assistant, MS Office, and Basic Electrical. Since program inception, associates in EmployBridge’s manufacturing (ResourceMFG) and logistics (ProLogistix) divisions have completed the greatest number of courses.