Industry Expert Led Affordable Training for Polishing Skills and Landing Jobs

Winter 2018 President’s Report

By Larry Elle, PDC President

Larry Elle, PDC President


In 2017 the economy fully emerged from the Great Recession. Unemployment levels reached lows not seen since the early ’00s.

High demand for skilled employees, in turn, has focused a spotlight on skills and training.  Many employers are saying: “We can’t find the workers with the right skills.” And so some firms are beginning to spend more money on training. But other firms are calling on state governments and community colleges to train workers.

In light of this development, it is worth noting that during the recession companies reduced their training expenditures by 50 percent. Now they are paying the price in terms of finding workers with these right skills.

Therefore, in many cases training costs – the expense of having the skills to work in today’s economy – have been shifted to employees. You lack a skill? Well, it’s your responsibility to gain that skill. Dig into your pocket and pay the tuition.

This is where the Professional Development Collaborative (PDC) comes in.  The PDC is a non-profit formed in 2010 to provide high-quality, instructor-led, affordable training. Many professionals can’t afford high tuitions, especially given the uncertainty of an economic payoff.  So we have stepped in to help hundreds of people gain needed skills that put them back to work.

This issue of the PDC Post – in fact all issues — provide professional development information.  Our writers present ideas and tools you can use to improve your appeal to employers.

Every individual — even those who work full-time permanent jobs — in a sense, is his or her own business, offering talents and services for hire.  And so these ideas should improve the success of your business – “you, incorporated.”

While our economy has indeed emerged from the Great Recession, it hasn’t emerged in the same form or with exactly the same kinds of jobs. Victoria Carter discusses the effects of labor-market changes on older workers.  Then, Edith Moricz offers the perspective of a small businesswoman who is benefiting from the new “gig economy” that has emerged.  Hers is a new paradigm:  she uses internet-based labor, her “virtual assistant,” to aid her fundraising and career-counseling business.

Wendy Gordon-Hewick discusses online learning pros and cons. Wendy is an adjunct professor who actually teaches online.  Also related to computers and the skills needed by today’s workers, Edie Fosse’s article provides an overview of the types of software programs and skills every professional today needs to be acquainted with to remain professionally viable. Finally, David Hugh Smith, the editor of the PDC Post, offers an interview with author and networking expert Diane Darling.

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