Guild Education partners with Walmart and other employers on reskilling program

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Guild Education, an organization that partners with employers to help offer education benefits to workers, is aiding displaced workers through a new retraining plan.

Employers who enroll in its Next Chapter program can provide laid-off or furloughed workers with access to reskilling programs, as well as hands-on coaching as they navigate toward growing industries, such as tech, healthcare, customer success and various trades. Employers who have already partnered up with Guild Education on Next Chapter include Walmart, TTEC, Gainsight, Paschall Truck Lines and Unity Technologies.

Last month the total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. fell by 20.5 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%. These figures are a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts implemented to contain it.

“We’re witnessing the tale of two labor markets. Food service, beauty, and hospitality are fueling unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression,” Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education, said in a statement. “At the very same time, employers are grappling with the seemingly endemic skills gaps in healthcare, supply chain and skilled trade fields. Next Chapter helps bridge that gap and works with employers who are stepping up to help workers navigate the labor market riptide.”

The crux of the platform is a collaboration between employers who have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and healthcare, supply chain, and tech employers that are hiring.

“Rapid reskilling and access to education will be more important than ever as we emerge from this crisis,” says Drew Holler, senior vice president of associate experience and HR operations at Walmart.

The coronavirus situation has 57% of Americans in the workforce worried they will lose their jobs, while 33% believe that if they lose their jobs, they will need additional education and new skills to find a comparable one, according to data from the nonprofit Strada Education.

The Next Chapter program will offer accelerated retraining programs through partner institutions, including Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global, Penn Foster, Pathstream and Brandman University.

“In the difficult COVID-19 financial climate we face, thousands of companies have woken up and are seeing how compassion for employees affected by layoffs and furloughs directly impacts how customers experience brands,” says Ken Tuchman, CEO of TTEC, a tech and service company. “At no other time has our purpose to deliver humanity to business been more important than now.”

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