BOSTON  — Penn Foster, which partners with employers and working learners around the country to create new pathways to economic opportunity, announced a new initiative designed to bring leading-edge technology to bear on helping students prepare for careers in skilled trades. More than 140 skilled trades lessons in fields including welding, mechanical engineering, and electrical maintenance now include interactive learning aids developed to support different learning styles and boost mastery of foundational and technical skills.

The new program will bolster initiatives like Walmart’s Live Better U, which recently expanded to offer training programs in skilled trades for thousands of associates across the country. As the demand for talent in skilled trades professions continues to increase in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn Foster’s short-form online programs are designed to provide new pathways to career opportunities that are both accessible and affordable for working learners.

“The skilled trades have long been overlooked as a driver of social and economic mobility,” said Dara Warn, chief customer officer at Penn Foster. “New approaches to both technology and pedagogy can expand access to training in high-demand fields for both workers and employers — in ways that can help chart a path to economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.”

Penn Foster’s curriculum in middle-skill fields, including veterinary, healthcare, and skilled trades, is used by more than 300,000 learners each year. Through partnerships with leading employers and workforce organizations, from Guild Education and YouthBuild to Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, Penn Foster provides training and reskilling programs that help job-seekers and working learners access opportunities in high-growth fields.

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