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May 8, 2020

Employers Team Up to Connect Laid Off Workers in the U.S. to New Skills, Higher Wage Careers

Walmart, TTEC, Gainsight, Paschall Truck Lines and Unity Technologies join the Next Chapter platform connecting displaced workers with opportunities to upskill into in-demand roles with employers that are hiring

DENVER, May 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Guild Education, in collaboration with a group of the nation’s largest employers and leading academic institutions, announced the launch of Next Chapter. Built by Guild, Next Chapter will enable displaced workers who have recently filed for unemployment to identify new roles with employers and sectors that are hiring as a result of increased demand. Employers who join the platform can also provide laid-off or furloughed workers with access to reskilling programs, as well as hands-on coaching as they navigate toward growing industries, such as tech, healthcare, customer success and the skilled trades.

“We’re witnessing the tale of two labor markets. Food service, beauty, and hospitality are fueling unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education. “At the very same time, employers are grappling with the seemingly endemic skills gaps in healthcare, supply chain and skilled trade fields. Next Chapter helps bridge that gap and works with employers who are stepping up to help workers navigate the labor market riptide.”

The core of the platform is a collaboration between employers adversely impacted by the crisis, and healthcare, supply chain, and tech employers that are hiring. Unlike traditional outplacement services, which were designed to place workers in jobs similar to the ones they left, Next Chapter was created to help workers make the leap to higher wage roles with access to education and training resources that enable them to prepare to transition into new careers or industries.

“Rapid reskilling and access to education will be more important than ever as we emerge from this crisis,” said Drew Holler, Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Associate Experience and HR Operations.  “Next Chapter will play a crucial role in matching Americans who are suddenly out of work with future proof skills so they can transition to in-demand jobs.”

recent survey from the nonprofit Strada Education found that 57% of Americans in the workforce are worried they will lose their jobs and 33% believe that if they lose their jobs, they will need additional education and new skills to find a comparable one.

“Unemployment rates are eclipsing anything we’ve seen in the past by a substantial margin, leaving millions of Americans without a means of income or the skills needed to find work outside of their field,” said Jessica Lindl, Vice President and Global Head of Education, Unity Technologies. “Developing skills in software and emerging technologies can provide a pathway to careers where demand currently outpaces supply. With Next Chapter, we are not only able to help Americans reskill themselves, but will also give them access to top-notch training and support to transform their careers for the better.”

“The employment crisis is staggering, but there may be a silver lining for displaced workers,” said Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster.  “This is about rewiring the labor market in a way that enables workers to move from lower wage jobs into middle skills careers that will be higher paying, and far more resilient.”

“From the beginning, TTEC has upheld the philosophy that positive employee experiences result in positive customer experiences,” said Ken Tuchman, CEO of TTEC. “In the difficult COVID-19 financial climate we face, thousands of companies have woken up and are seeing how compassion for employees affected by layoffs and furloughs directly impacts how customers experience brands. At no other time has our purpose to deliver humanity to business been more important than now.”

For workers lacking the skills to jump into higher wage roles, Next Chapter will offer accelerated retraining programs through partner institutions, including Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global, Penn Foster, Pathstream, and Brandman University. Displaced workers can pursue programs like Facebook’s Digital Marketing Certificate or the Salesforce Administration Career Certificate, offered through Pathstream, as well as skilled trades programs, in demand job fields like plumbing, electrical trades, or appliance repair, through Penn Foster.

For additional information, visit nextchapter.guildeducation.com.

About Guild Education

Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education, with a double bottom-line business model that does well by doing good. Guild partners with leading employers and organizations to help offer education benefits to America’s workforce. To do so, Guild partners with the nation’s top universities and learning providers, with classes, certificates and programs focused on serving working adults. Guild has been named a Fast Company Most Innovative Company, Top Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Employee Initiative of the Year and was one of only three female-led companies listed on the Forbes Cloud 100 2019 List. As one of the fastest growing companies in Denver, Guild is hiring across departments. To learn more about Guild Education, visit www.guildeducation.com.

Additional Quotes from the Next Chapter Collaboration

Brandman University: “Brandman University is pleased to play a role in the development of Guild’s Next Chapter education model,” said Chancellor Gary Brahm. “Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon us to come together to find solutions that enable people to get on their feet and back to work. Brandman is proud to be a part of this forward-thinking group of partners.”

Gainsight: “We recently surveyed executives from the leading SaaS companies and found that while many are considering staff cuts overall, 85% said their Customer Success team is one they actually plan to maintain or grow as they focus on mitigating churn,” said Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight. “Meanwhile, a growing number of people are currently out of work, particularly in the hospitality industry. Coincidentally, many of the most successful Customer Success Managers we work with have a background in hospitality. The Gainsight team wants to support those most affected by providing training and education in Customer Success and access to more job opportunities.”

Kaplan Higher Education: “As pioneers and enablers in online higher education, we are excited to offer our expertise as a partner in this initiative to help America’s workforce learn marketable new skills and competencies for the new economy,” said Gregory Marino, Chief Executive Officer for Kaplan Higher Education, which provides online enablement and support services for Purdue University Global, one of the participating institutions. 

Paschall Truck Lines: “Paschall Truck Lines is proud to serve America during its time of need,” said Brett Terchila, VP of Capacity Development at Paschall Truck Lines. “As an essential business we’re working hard to keep the supply chain moving throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As America returns to work, Paschall Truck Lines remains committed to providing superior training and lasting careers for people interested in the trucking industry.”

Pathstream: “Now, more than ever, is the time to provide accessible opportunities for people to reskill into modern digital careers,” said Eleanor Cooper, CEO of Pathstream. “In the Great Recession, 75% of the 7.2M jobs lost were low skill jobs, while 99% of the jobs of the recovery went to college degree holders. The current pandemic will again reinforce this trend, with a growing emphasis on remote digital skills. Pathstream is excited to bring our digital skill certificate programs, built in partnership with leading technology companies, to frontline workers through Guild and Next Chapter.  We know that hiring managers want people who can adapt quickly and learn to use new tools and technologies. Learners want practical, job-aligned curriculum to help them reskill efficiently. Next Chapter is an initiative that will help bring all these pieces together.”

Southern New Hampshire University: “At SNHU, we know that we will all need to work together to help our fellow Americans gain the future-proof skills they need to thrive in an increasingly complex workforce and society,” said Paul LeBlanc, President and CEO, SNHU. “We’re proud to be working with this new initiative to lend our support and offer SNHU’s workforce-relevant programs to the nation’s furloughed and unemployed workers.”  

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