GradLeaders + Penn Foster Collaborate to Help Employers Tackle the Middle-Skills Gap

GradLeaders, the market leader in campus recruitment and career services technology, is excited to announce a unique new partnership with Penn Foster, a leading education and skills training provider offering accredited, career-relevant high school, career and college programs designed to help students launch and accelerate professions through accessible and affordable online education.  Penn Foster serves more than 150,000 middle-skilled adult learners annually with over 44,000 graduates a year earning diplomas, degrees, or certificates towards today’s most in-demand occupations in industries such as skilled trades, healthcare, early childhood education, veterinary technology, hospitality, and retail. Together, both organizations will combat today’s skills gap by connecting more job-seeking students to high-quality occupational pathways in fields like industrial safety, facilities maintenance, mechanic training, technician training and over 30 more fields requiring a career diploma.

GradLeaders will provide the technology to match Penn Foster’s students and alumni to best-fit occupations, while helping employers find the right candidates with the right skills and credentials for their open roles. Kate Mosteller, VP of Marketing at Penn Foster, believes it’s more important than ever for employers to address the shortage of people trained for middle-skill occupations by hiring candidates from alternative learning programs. 

“These types of jobs—requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, not only offer decent wages initially, but also create a pathway to increasing lifetime career value. Penn Foster students graduate with a well-rounded skillset and the tools to prepare them for successful careers in a number of fields and companies should take the lead in hiring these types of workers,” Mosteller says.

Here’s a few of Penn Foster’s top programs based on enrollment volume that can be mapped to employer job functions:

  • Penn Foster High School with Career Pathways
  • Veterinary Technician Associate Degree
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Early Childhood Education Associate Degree
  • Business Management Bachelor’s Degree
  • HVACR Technician
  • Auto Repair Technician
  • Dental Assistant
  • Medical Assistant Associate Degree
  • Business Management Associate Degree
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Criminal Justice Bachelor’s Degree
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bookkeeping
  • Criminal Justice Associate Degree
  • Health Care Management Associate Degree
  • Paralegal Studies Associate Degree
  • Accounting Associate Degree

Check out the full list of programs offered here.

Traditionally, GradLeaders has worked with career centers serving MBA students, other Master’s students, undergraduate students earning their Bachelor’s degrees, and even hundreds of community college students earning their Associate’s degrees. Now, GradLeaders can connect their exclusive employer network to students participating in these skilled trades and apprenticeship programs.

While the need for employers to hire non-traditional students is more apparent than ever, the industry is missing a critical pathway for connecting this group of students with employers. A Middle-Skills Report from Accenture states that 54% of employers struggle to fill middle-skill jobs because trained talent is difficult to find. This is one of the challenges GradLeaders CEO, Jack Gainer, hopes to solve in partnering with Penn Foster.

“We’re pleased to embark on our first partnership with a virtual institution focused on non-traditional students. Not only will we further our mission to close the middle-skills gap in the industry by matching employers to students with the skills they desire, but we’ll also play an instrumental role in directing the student journey, wherever they may be in their career. Our software will make it possible for these unique students to explore the career paths that pertain to them, consume resources to boost their understanding of the job market from remote locations, and connect with employers, on their own time,” says Gainer.

GradLeaders Recruiting partners with access to the database of undergraduate student job seekers will be receiving access to this new population of Penn Foster students and recent graduates for the 2018-19 recruiting season. These employers will not only be able to search for right-fit students and target Penn Foster candidates via “Advanced Search” but also be able to quickly distribute job postings to Penn Foster via MultiPost as well.


Ryan Pratt

Ryan Pratt is the Vice President of Marketing and Research at GradLeaders. During his 10+ years at GradLeaders, the network has grown to have now helped over 600,000 employers and 26,500,000 students from more than 1,000 schools around the world. Ryan graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

To enable comments sign up for a Disqus account and enter your Disqus shortname in the Articulate node settings.