Home Innovation Long Life Learning, Part 2 – Resources for Companies and Adult Learners
Long Life Learning, Part 2 – Resources for Companies and Adult Learners

Long Life Learning, Part 2 – Resources for Companies and Adult Learners


After posting my review of Dr. Michelle Weise’s book, Long Life Learning, I thought about the companies that she mentioned and decided to research them through their websites and provide a summary. Where possible, I’ve organized them in line with the ecosystem principles that Dr. Weise calls for developing.

Companies that Provide Information Allowing Workers to Navigate the Market

Emsi, an economic modeling company based in Idaho, provides labor market data to colleges, companies, and communities. For universities, the company offers a program called Analyst that provides an objective analysis as to whether or not an academic program is meeting market demand and relevant skills specific to the region that you are located in or interested in.

The program shows degrees awarded by competitors as well as compares your institution’s data to the competitive dataset. It also pulls data from job postings as well as resumes submitted.

In addition, the company also offers a program called SkillsMatch that allows workers to build a profile of their past experiences and other experiences. The program surfaces suggested competencies to help the user round out their profile.

Burning Glass Technologies claims to be the world’s largest provider of labor market data (Disclaimer: we use Burning Glass data at APUS when reviewing our market assessment for new programs). On their website, they state that they offer the data that drives higher enrollment, more revenue, and closer alignment with the market. Their Labor Insight program “collects, mines, and codes millions of job postings and social profiles from more than 40,000 online sources daily.”

Like Emsi, they provide labor market data by local region as well as nationally. Burning Glass offers an add-on dashboard for Labor Insight called Alumni Analysis. Alumni Analysis tracks graduate career outcomes based on Burning Glass’ database of millions of resumes and social profiles to provide career pathways for institutions’ alumni.

FutureFit AI partners with companies and governments to help workers make faster and smarter and to make more successful career transitions. The areas where they provide assistance are outskilling and outplacement, inskilling and talent acquisition, reskilling and redeployment, and workforce development. They operate through an artificial intelligence (AI) career navigation pathway that they call Career GPS.

SkyHive is another company that uses AI to power its platform of data. Quantum Labour Analysis is their program that analyzes a workforce or labor market at its most granular, based on skills. Their labor market intelligence is geo-located and time-stamped, which enables timely and local market analysis.

Companies can compare the local market with their existing workforce and forecast future requirements. SkyHive also allows companies to identify existing workers’ skill shortages and create plans to reskill them. It aggregates various educational content engines and other forms of training and digital learning platforms to suggest pathways for those desiring to upskill.

Companies with Programs that Offer Wrap-Around Support for Learners

Climb Hire is a company in the San Francisco Bay Area that trains adults to be Salesforce administrators. The organization’s program includes 150 hours of online classes and 150 hours of in-class sessions, split between 75 hours of technical skills and 75 hours of soft skills training.

Classes are during the evenings and weekends, so that students can keep working at their regular jobs during the training program. Climb Hire also provides a weekly stipend during the program.

After graduating and securing a job that pays a minimum of $45,000 per year, graduates pay it forward to support future classes. Graduates of the program become mentors and teachers for future cohorts. They also refer one another into jobs and share in finders’ fees from employers.

LaunchCode is a non-profit company that offers free tech education and job-readiness training. The company matches individuals with an apprenticeship at employer partners who need technology talent. The company partners with community agencies to provide public transportation and parking, legal services, food stamps, health care, and employment assistance.

Job Train is a company that provides career training in high tech to workers. Similar to LaunchCode, they provide services that help learners deal with personal issues in order to complete training.

STRIVE is a job training and support organization operating in 20 cities across the U.S. It assigns case managers to all learners, providing personal support in mental health, financial stability, and challenging family situations.

College Unbound (CU) is a degree-completion college based in Providence, Rhode Island, and is tailored for adult learners. CU serves adult learners who have not completed a bachelor’s degree and who are able to participate in the bachelor’s program full-time. It offers dinner and babysitting services for its students to help them solve some of the roadblocks toward completion.

Jobcase is an AI platform that provides working people with the tools and resources to take control of their own careers. The platform consists of connectors, profiles, and a community. The connectors include job boards such as Indeed and CareerBuilder, as well as reviews from GlassDoor. The profiles are where people keep their resumes, reviews, praise, and recommendations.

The community section is for empathy building and emotional support. The community consists of 109 million users; 29 million of them are active monthly.

Targeted Education for Learners

Mursion is a company that offers scenario-based training using a virtual reality (VR) platform. The platform combines live actors with AI, and the simulations replicate challenges that employees face on a daily basis.

The platform relies on a patented digital “puppetry” control and allows a single person to control all of the people in the VR room at once. The performance is recorded, and you review it with a simulation specialist and receive feedback. The training works well for improving leadership development, teaching, sales, and customer experience.

I.c. stars utilizes simulations to create problem-solving technologists. Combining an apprenticeship model with project-based learning, i.c. stars divides its cohorts into four teams that solve a real business challenge proposed by a partner company. The teams that win a Request for Proposal (RFP) are accountable to their clients, not the teacher. Students learn general information technology skills, programming languages, and cybersecurity concepts.

Colaberry is another company using AI to help workers reskill/upskill in the field of data science. People learn skills in structured QWERTY language, data analysis, data cleansing, data visualization, and the application of algorithms. They also help employers reskill their workforce as well as acquire specialized talent in the data science field.

Merit America provides a path to skilled careers for adults without bachelor’s degrees. Merit America provides hybrid learning experiences with “intrusive” in-person support designed to drive persistence and student success. Its programs entail over 20 hours per week of technical skills building online.

Every other week, learners meet one-on-one in person for three hours with a coach. Its programs range from three to five months in length.

Integrated Earning and Learning

Guild Education provides tuition reimbursement services for large companies and pairs them with education providers that they believe are best suited for the outcomes desired by the companies. It negotiates with the universities for tuition discounts and facilitates payment between the companies and the universities to take the work away from the employee.

GLEAC claims to be able to measure and develop human skills for any job in 10 minutes a day using AI. The company’s tool teaches over 200 behavioral elements such as persuasiveness, thinking on your feet, and altruism, as well as core workforce skills such as creativity, collaboration, and decision making.

The first step is an individualized benchmark that gives learners insight into their personal strengths. The next step provides a custom micro-learning curriculum structured as a series of 10-minute daily practices that increase in difficulty. The learning is supported by coaching and peer feedback.

Transparent and Fairer Hiring

Innovate+Educate was founded to create a skills-based paradigm shift for working and learning. That translates to competency-based assessment used for hiring. Shift Happens 2 is a paper that describes much of the work that Innovate+Education has developed to improve competency-based assessments that increase the chances for workers to develop skills and be hired for those skills. What’s important about this work is that skills-based hiring has been limited by a lack of robust and reliable assessments.

Imbellus is a company that developed virtual scenario-based assessments to measure how people think and to measure curiosity, problem solving, systems thinking, and risk taking. The back end of the technology measures every click, mouse movement, and time stamp in order to make inferences about participants’ information-processing, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. The system constantly provides feedback to the participants. It appears that Roblox Corporation is acquiring Intellus’ intellectual property to add to its metaverse of assessments for recruiting purposes.

Parker Dewey developed a digital micro-internship program that allows employers to hire better. Parker Dewey helps companies turn tasks for summer interns into discrete, micro-internship projects that are priced from $200 to $600 per task. These tasks can be done remotely. Posting a task only takes a few minutes. Employers can pick their interns from profiles in the marketplace and “test drive” the learners’ skills through short-term assignments.

Getting Started: Taking Root

BrightHive collaborates with employers, state and federal agencies, and nonprofits to help shape the future of work by creating better intelligence in the talent marketplace through data trusts. Data trusts are “unified legal, technical, and governance frameworks that allow for networks of organizations to be able to combine their data ethically and responsibly to achieve a shared goal or a shared mission.” The originating groups retain control over all of their data.

In the first part of my review of Long Life Learning, I recommended reading it to senior administrators in higher education. I kept the review at a fairly high level, purposefully.

As I discussed the review with a few associates over the past week, I realized that the rigor of Dr. Weise’s research was important to illustrate with a followup article. I think you’ll realize that the capabilities for building a network are growing, making the outcomes more likely and the possibilities endless.

Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and as a member and chair of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.


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