What's Next: Will the pandemic dampen interest in tuition benefit programs?

educationdive | May 14, 2020

Tuition benefit programs aren't new, but several high-profile examples have made headlines in the last few years as indicators that companies are changing how they use education support. Beyond attracting workers, these programs are designed to retain them and help employers expand and diversify their talent pipelines.This is particularly true in the retail and food service sectors, where competition for frontline workers was fierce in a strong economy and job-hopping was common. Such programs typically require employees to work at the company for several months before starting and then maintain a certain hourly threshold as they complete the program. In exchange, workers can earn a credential for free or at little cost.

Spotlight

The challenge of funding a high quality higher education system, ensuring it has the capacity to help meet the increasing demand for high level skills in our economy and the aspirations of our students, has been an ongoing concern for successive Australian governments over many years.

Spotlight

The challenge of funding a high quality higher education system, ensuring it has the capacity to help meet the increasing demand for high level skills in our economy and the aspirations of our students, has been an ongoing concern for successive Australian governments over many years.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Saritasa Develops Virtual Reality Training Program for Loadstar Railcar Inspecting & Loading

Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022

Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training. "Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome." Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa About Loadstar Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About Saritasa Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning to Expand into Lancaster County

Milton Hershey School | November 14, 2022

Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS) announced yesterday at an event at Eden Resort & Suites in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that it will open three Early Childhood Education Centers (ECECs) in Lancaster County to serve children from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds. The cost-free Centers will be located in Lancaster City, New Danville, and Elizabethtown. At yesterday's event, Lancaster County community leaders and child advocates heard from CHS and Milton Hershey School (MHS) leadership about their approach to providing accessible early childhood education. CHS intends to support and work collaboratively with existing Lancaster County organizations to serve local children and families. City of Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace also spoke, explaining how the addition of the CHS Centers will positively impact the broader Lancaster County community. The three CHS Centers in Lancaster County are part of a $350 million initiative to initially develop six ECECs in the state as subsidiaries of MHS. Each will offer a non-residential, year-round core early learning program with a curriculum designed to enhance children's educational, social, and emotional development. It also will provide children with nutritious meals, transportation, and other needed supplies, along with integrated support services to families of enrolled children. All of this will be provided with all costs covered to qualifying families. Yesterday's announcement was suitably made during Founders Week at MHS, which celebrates the anniversary of Milton and Catherine Hershey establishing the school 113 years ago. The Hersheys' legacy is deeply rooted in Lancaster County, making this expansion especially meaningful. Milton Hershey spent his childhood in Bart Township and, as an adult, opened the Lancaster Caramel Company. Lancaster County is also where Milton and Catherine Hershey spent the early years of their marriage and invested in the Lancaster community through their support of St. Joseph's Hospital, Franklin & Marshall College, and Catherine's service as an inaugural member of the Lancaster Charity Society. The Lancaster County CHS Centers are expected to begin opening in 2026. ABOUT CATHERINE HERSHEY SCHOOLS FOR EARLY LEARNING  Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning will provide a cost-free educational, social, and cognitive program to children from birth to age 5 from economically disadvantaged and at-risk backgrounds through the development of initially six Early Childhood Education Centers. The Centers are subsidiaries of Milton Hershey School and will be staffed and operated independently of the Milton Hershey School core model. For more information, visit chslearn.org.  ABOUT MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL  Milton Hershey School is one of the world's best private schools, where qualifying students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade live on campus and receive an exceptional educational experience—with all costs covered.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

WorkRamp Launches "WorkRamp Content" to Help Businesses Build Impactful Learning Programs that Develop Employees and Unlock Exponential Growth

WorkRamp | September 29, 2022

WorkRamp, the All-in-One Learning Platform, today announced the release of WorkRamp Content, powered by one of the world's largest corporate education content hubs, Go1. WorkRamp Content is one of the most comprehensive content solutions for organizations that are invested in developing their people to unlock exponential growth.With this product, relevant industry- and role-based content can be curated to complement the organization's learning strategy, and businesses can leverage the power of prebuilt, proven content to build impactful programs that attract, develop, and retain talent and mitigate corporate risk by maintaining compliance. "Businesses need their workforces to be highly skilled if they are to stay competitive in today's market, and that means learning cannot stop,Those that really invest in making learning a growth engine for their organizations recognize that effective content is fundamental to this strategy. Now they can find not only flexible content creation and collaboration within WorkRamp's platform but also the most relevant expertise to uplevel their people." Ted Blosser, CEO and Co-Founder of WorkRamp With over 85,000 course resources from more than 250 providers in one learning center of excellence, WorkRamp Content provides exactly what employees want, in whichever format, length, and style are effective for them. The catalog of resources from the world's top providers such as EasyLlama, ej4, The Expert Academy, Mind Tools, Pluralsight, Sandler Training, Skillsoft, and Traliant empowers learning administrators to upskill their teams for more meaningful business contributions. They also have access to complimentary content recommendations and curation in partnership with Go1's team. Customers should expect learner engagement to increase sixfold once they leverage the ability to quickly provide employees with meaningful content within their learning platform. Businesses want their learners to be able to develop and apply their skills in the flow of work and in systems they recognize. Those that invest in WorkRamp to support their development strategy and growth can now really achieve this most effective approach to learning by accessing Go1's vast training and content libraries, said Marc Havercroft, President of Go1. With WorkRamp Content, customers are now able to draw on all levels of instructional design capability and better align their learning content strategy with an overall learning strategy. The All-in-One Learning Platform provides course authoring tools out of the box for building content just the way the business wants it, customizable course templates to set teams up with solid starting points, and now prebuilt, proven content that can be rapidly deployed for immediate business impact.

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