Learning and Education

Coffee With Valerie Njie – Bidwell Training Center

»Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Bidwell Training Center, Business Advice, Career Education for High School Students, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, Learning, Learning and Education, Professional Development, Resources in the Region, Videos | Comments Off on Coffee With Valerie Njie – Bidwell Training Center

Today’s episode of Coffee With focuses on careers, specifically career building and training. Joining our discussion is Mrs. Valerie Njie, the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Bidwell Training Center (BTC). Bidwell Training Center is a non-profit career training school that has been changing people’s lives since 1968. At Bidwell, Mrs. Njie is part of an amazing organization that equips students with superb skills that can lead them to meaningful employment and empower them to become more confident, productive, and professional. Bidwell Training Center has almost 50 years of experience providing top-of-the-line career training and consistently attracts national attention for their innovative training programs. Beyond that, Bidwell Training Center is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and is a member of over 10 national and regional professional organizations. The majors offered at BTC provide learners with the hands-on skillsets they need to be prepared and competitive in the marketplace. Mrs. Njie has committed decades towards serving the Pittsburgh community and enriching the lives of others. In 2014, she was elected to serve as School Commissioner by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Mrs. Njie has been one of the ACCSC’s most active volunteers, and was selected as Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Beyond that, she has been honored with the 2009 Duquesne Light African American Leadership Award for Education as well as a 2006 Women of Influence designation from the New Pittsburgh Courier. Mrs. Njie’s outstanding dedication to the Pittsburgh community was most recently recognized in 2015 when she received the University of Pittsburgh’s Volunteer Excellence Award. The award annually recognizes Pitt alumni who have enriched the lives of others through extraordinary efforts in the...

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Coffee With Ron Alvarado

»Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Business Goals, Christopher Evans, Coffee With on CBS, Learning and Education | Comments Off on Coffee With Ron Alvarado

  Ron Alvarado Building Bridges for Business is excited to welcome Ron Alvarado onto the Coffee With show. Ron Alvarado is the president and founder of Novus Group, LLC, a Pittsburgh-based firm specializing in staffing and recruitment outsourcing. Novus Group, LLC offers professional recruitment services and staffing solutions for business sectors from energy to accounting. In 2013, Novus was ranked one of the Top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Magazine (for the 3rd consecutive year). In September of 2014, the magazine named Novus the 24th fastest growing Hispanic owned company in the nation. In 2013, Novus was honored as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Business Times (for the 2nd year in a row). Mr. Alvarado has a strong record of service for improving diversity and has extensive experience addressing the workforce needs of the region. He serves as the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and also serves on the board of the Dollar Energy Fund. Mr. Alvarado’s workforce expertise found him serving on the Pennsylvanian Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The WIB is the Governor’s principal private sector policy advising resource on any workforce development issues. Mr. Alvarado was first appointed to the WIB in 2008 by Governor Rendell, then reappointed by Governor Corbett. Beyond his impressive service and dedication to improving our community, Mr. Alvarado has been recognized as the recipient of many awards. In 2013 he was awarded the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Vanguard Diversity Award. The Vanguard Diversity Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrate outstanding work towards promoting diversity and inclusion. Mr. Alvarado’s exceptional community service was also recognized when he received the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Hispanic Attorneys Committee 2015 “El Sol Award”. Watch the Coffee With exclusive interview with Mr. Alvarado, where he details his emergence and success within the staffing industry, as well as practical business lessons he’s learned along the way. From his incredible success with Novus to his dedication to improving our community, Mr. Alvarado brings exciting and inspiring experience to share with you on Coffee...

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Why Aren’t College-Ready Students Enrolling in College?

»Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, Learning and Education, U can B | Comments Off on Why Aren’t College-Ready Students Enrolling in College?

A new report from ACT has found that 20 percent of students who are likely well-prepared for their first year of college are not actually enrolling. Additionally, results from a multi-year College and Career Readiness survey of 165,000 high school students conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, found that only 45 percent of students feel positive about their college and career readiness. What’s The Problem? According to the same YouthTruth survey, an overwhelming 87 percent of students want to eventually earn a college degree and land a career, but many believe that their schools aren’t helping them develop the skills they’ll need to succeed after graduation. To make matters worse, as a result of being unprepared, approximately one in four students who enter college the fall after high school graduation enroll in remedial coursework during their first year of college. The aggregate additional, direct college expenses these half million students and families had to pay out of pocket for remedial coursework in the first year in 2011-12 was an astounding $1.5 billion. The problem is deeply rooted in the curriculum at many schools across the United States. Graduation is treated as the ultimate goal, which ignores preparing students to reach their future goals. In support of this idea, many schools aren’t encouraging students to challenge themselves and are not helping students find their passion. Instead, schools opt for a random combination of career-prep courses — which ranges from computers and engineering to trade courses in fields such as construction or manufacturing — rather than a series of courses aligned with a particular career field. What Can Be Done? All of these reports support the idea that schools need to reflect on their school’s structure, culture, and instruction, and how those elements influence exposure to rigorous, engaging, and relevant coursework that prepares students for success after high school in various college and career paths. This is especially important as young people need more skills than ever before in order to succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy. Graduating more confident high-school graduates is not an unattainable goal. Research shows that students support this change. In fact, nearly nine out 10 of all recent high school graduates said they would have worked harder if their high schools had demanded more, set higher academic standards, and raised expectations of the coursework and studying necessary to earn a diploma. Programs like U can B are helping schools make this a reality. By providing students with the skills they need to succeed after high school and empowering them to pursue a career that they feel passionate about, U can B is working to close the gaps between college-readiness, college enrollment, and career success. Ultimately, schools that place their students’ futures at the top of their priority list instead of graduation rates are investing in the world’s...

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3 Ways to Foster Learning During the Summer

»Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, Learning and Education, U can B, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Foster Learning During the Summer

According to the U.S. Department of Education, children can experience a learning loss equivalent to two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. More than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can possibly be explained by an unequal access of the children to summer learning opportunities. The temptations are great for children to spend hours watching television or playing video games. However, just because it is summer vacation doesn’t mean students’ brains need to take a vacation. “You don’t want your kids to think that learning is only something that happens in places called schools,” says Susan K. Perry, author of Playing Smart: The Family Guide to Enriching Offbeat Learning Activities for Ages 4-14. With some planning, the summer can be the best time for learning and building new skills. Here are a few ways to make the most out of the summer. 1. Webinars Geographic distances between learning institutions and students can often create a barrier for learning during the summer. With webinars, students get access to virtual classes from anywhere. Another great thing about webinars is that you can find ones on just about any topic. This means that students can learn more about the things that interest them, which makes learning during the summer feel like less of a chore. For students that are starting to look beyond high school, summer is also the perfect time to begin career development. This July, U can B is offering a number of work-related webinars that cover the following topics: Networking Using Social Media for Job Searching Using Linkedin for Job Hunting How to Create a Professional Online Brand 2. Reading Programs Reading is a great way to keep students’ minds active during the summer months. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money on books. Instead, find out if your public library is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program. Public libraries in participating states purchase posters, reading logs, bookmarks, certificates and a variety of reading incentives that help engage kids and get them excited about reading. 3. Start a Garden A fun way to foster students’ education and personal development during the summer is through gardening. Not only does gardening help create generations of kids connected to their food, community, and planet, but it also develops valuable skills such as planning, math, and science. Check out the Kids Gardening website for lots of great ideas and resources on how to get started. There are plenty of ways to ensure students’ minds don’t go into hibernation this summer. Learning does not have to be a seasonal event; with the right methods, students can be excited about learning year round! Plan ahead and take advantage of technology as well as free programs that make learning...

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Filling Gaps in the US Education System

»Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, Education, Learning and Education, U can B | Comments Off on Filling Gaps in the US Education System

The fact that there are problems with the US education system is well known. Unfortunately, several of these issues are having very negative effects on the quality of the education our students are receiving. American students’ latest scores on the PISA (Programme of International Student Assessment), the international test taken by 15 year-olds around the world, show just how bad these problems are. Depending on the subject, American students are average or slightly below average compared to their international peers — ranking 17th in reading, 26th in math, and 21st in science. What’s wrong with the current education system? Here are two of the reasons: Students Don’t Have the Right Skills The US Education Department recently reported that the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high at 82 percent. However, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the largest standardized test administered in the United States, less than 40 percent of high school seniors in America have sufficient academic skills in math and reading to pass entry-level college courses. Additionally, a study released by the Education Trust concluded that “rather than ensuring students have access to a cohesive curriculum that aligns high school coursework and students’ future goals, high schools are prioritizing credit accrual, which treats graduation as the end goal.” Students Aren’t Exposed to Career Options Not only do students lack the skills to succeed after high school, they also aren’t given the necessary exposure to all of the options that exist after graduation, whether it be college or a technical trade. While high school students shouldn’t necessarily nail down a specific career path, they should be exploring their interests and personality in order to develop a general idea. That way, when the time comes to pick a career path, they can choose something relevant and fulfilling. If we want students to be prepared for highly skilled jobs in the foreseeable future, it is essential that they are able to explore the possibilities before they graduate. Without these opportunities, students will be left feeling aimless. To prepare students for the future, we must empower them with the skills that help foster success after graduation. Programs like U can B are dedicated to assisting in the mission for improved education. U can B uses the real-world expertise of entrepreneurs and businesspeople to give students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college. The U can B Curriculum is tailored to meet each individual school’s needs, which means each curriculum component can be expanded or contracted to fit within a specific number of weeks based on the strengths and weaknesses of the class. In order to best prepare students for the future, the U can B curriculum includes Entrepreneurship, Networking, Careers in the Trades, Technology, Film, Television, Science, and more. The statistics don’t lie, change is needed in the US education system. If we work together, we can give students the tools to become the innovators of tomorrow....

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U can B – program details

»Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in Education, Financial, Learning and Education, Scientific Innovation, Trade education, U can B | Comments Off on U can B – program details

U can B – programs and efforts align with nationwide trends. Americans have always taken pride in having the best-educated workforce in the world, but now that is no longer true. In Tough Choices, Tough Times, the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce reports that over the past 30 years one country after another has surpassed the United States in the percentage of its population entering the workforce with the equivalent of a high school diploma, and many more countries are on the verge of doing so. Thirty years ago, the U.S. could lay claim to having 30 percent of the world’s population of college students. Today that proportion has fallen substantially, to 14 percent, and continues to decline. American students place anywhere from the middle of the pack to the bottom in all three continuing comparative studies of achievement in mathematics, science, and general literacy among advanced industrial nations.Students from low-income families are six times more likely not to finish high school than those from high-income families. Building Bridges is a 501(c)3 organization that educates and empowers through: • Live and virtual business education and workshops • Coffee With Film Series on CBS/KDKA digital with a 1.4 M home reach. • U can B teaching program • Student portal with data analytics • and Building the Bridges across the business and workforce ecosystem. Our mission is to strengthen the economic vitality of the region by providing educational programming and opportunities for small business and students to connect with vital resources. The U can B program highlights – • Proven curriculum – Taught in school and after school programs. • “Coffee With…” videos and in person interactive discussions are used to educate students on their purpose, passion and career options. • Educational programming – for students to connect with vital business resources. The students that U can B reaches will use the analytics dashboard that allows schools to follow participating students, gain meaningful and measurable analytics, and keep up with them longitudinally as they progress. • Follow Students • Internal Messaging • Post OpportunitiesImpact • See How They Compare • Show Certifications • Organize Achievements • Geographic Data • Skills Breakdown • Test Score...

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