Online Soft-Skills Training Program Aims to Boost Resumes, Businesses

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Colorado State University and Goodwill Industries of Denver now offer an online soft-skills digital badge program to help people improve their chances of finding, and maintaining, meaningful employment. See how this will help bridge the skills gap in today's job market.

A new online program can help individuals improve their job marketability, and businesses train their workforce. The Essential Soft Skills for Employment digital badge program was recently launched through a partnership between Colorado State University and Goodwill Industries of Denver.

Through a series of short, online, soft-skills training courses in such topics as teamwork, communication, stress management, and conflict resolution, participants in the program can earn digital badges to display on their resumes, illustrating their skill set for employers.

Soft skills — which are also often referred to as people skills— aren’t often emphasized in school or career training programs. Yet, they are just as, if not more, important than technical skills in many jobs.

“Managers across industries increasingly report that potential and current employees lack necessary professional attributes to be successful in the workplace,” said Mike Palmquist, Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation at CSU. “This program bridges the ‘soft-skills gap,’ and helps people develop those vital, interpersonal skills that are key to getting and keeping a job.”

Expanding a legacy of training and outreach
Goodwill Industries of Denver has a long history of providing skills training to help people find meaningful and lasting careers. Until recently, those services have mostly been available in face-to-face trainings in the Denver area. The new digital badge program takes Goodwill’s well-established curriculum and makes it available to people anywhere, on any schedule.

Mary Hendrix, Goodwill Industries of Denver’s Director of Youth Career Development, said the program will give thousands of students, adults, and employees more options to expand their career development. “Goodwill’s curriculum aims to provide individuals with the skill set they need to lead successful, self-sufficient lives,” she said. “This partnership between Goodwill and CSU offers an additional, more flexible option for people to enhance their resumes.”

A new way to learn and earn credentials
Digital badge programs offer an alternative to traditional education. Through short, on-demand, online courses, they allow participants to learn at a flexible pace and customize their own set of credentials by picking and choosing the courses that apply to their needs. Upon completion of each course, participants earn a digital badge to display on their resumes as proof of what they learned.

“We are thrilled to partner with CSU and expand the reach of our career development programming,” said Stuart Davie, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Denver. “CSU’s innovative online badge program will take Goodwill’s focus on skills training to new heights by turning soft skills into credibility that can be visually shown to potential employers.”

About Colorado State University Online
Colorado State University Online, CSU’s Division of Continuing Education, is in its 50th year of developing and delivering distance and online programs for the University. The division provides affordable access to a quality education from wherever students call home around the nation and world, on a schedule that fits their lives.

About Goodwill Industries of Denver
Goodwill Industries of Denver provides career development resources for tens of thousands of Coloradans with barriers to employment. Goodwill’s community programs facilitate job preparation and skills training for at-risk youth, struggling families, and individuals with disabilities. Through its thrift retail operations, donations, corporate partnerships and recycling processes, Goodwill ensures that every individual in our community has the opportunity to live to their fullest potential and overcome obstacles to success and self-sufficiency.

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