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Cengage Group Launches Dynamic New Solution to Close Skilled Labor Gaps and Expand Access to Quality Training

Ready to Hire from Cengage Work Brings Employers, Educators and Learners Together to Address Key Workforce Training and Talent Needs.

BOSTON – February 22, 2023 – In the U.S. today there are more open jobs than qualified workers to fill them, and many critical sectors like healthcare face even higher competition for talent. Cengage Work, the adult online skills training business of Cengage Group, is addressing the current skilled labor gap and opening up access to quality skills training with Ready to Hire. This solution creates new talent pipelines for employers through dedicated train-to-hire programs, upskilling of current talent and connecting employers to pre-qualified candidates from a network of local workforce and academic partners. With the ability to scale across industries and regions, Ready to Hire will meet the need at the local level where talent shortages are most acute.

“We’re excited to launch Ready to Hire to help employers close critical skills gaps while expanding access to quality training and sustainable jobs for learners,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO of Cengage Group. “Learners today want a choice of different education pathways to reach their goals, but they all want confirmation that what they’re learning will result in a job. Meanwhile, employers, particularly in sectors like healthcare and cybersecurity, are faced with unprecedented skilled labor challenges that leave some healthcare institutions with hundreds of openings for entry-level roles. Our unique position at the center of educational institutions, workforce organizations, students and employers, means we can build a program that truly delivers proven job outcomes for learners and employers.”

Ready to Hire will address talent shortages in the most in-demand industries, starting with healthcare and IT/cybersecurity where the need is most critical. Healthcare jobs are expected to grow by 13 percent over the next decade, much faster than all other industries; in cybersecurity there are currently more than 700,000 open positions. Employers cannot rely on traditional hiring methods to quickly close these labor gaps.

Cengage Group has supported learners for more than 100 years and over time has established partnerships with thousands of academic institutions, workforce organizations and corporations. Working directly with employers and Cengage’s network of hundreds of community college partners, Ready to Hire will help employers build local repeatable, predictable pipelines of talent through services to:

  • Create New Talent – identify and train new talent through dedicated train-to-hire programs, tailored for employer needs
  • Upskill Current Talent – train current employees to earn certification and professional skills, and
  • Access Local Talent – be the first to reach untapped talent pools by connecting with students at a network of local workforce and academic partners.

One of the first partners for Ready to Hire is Northwell Health, New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals, 850 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians.

“One of the key challenges in sourcing healthcare talent is determining whether candidates have the right skills needed for the job,” said Lisa Mulloy, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Northwell Health. “At Northwell we are launching a Pharmacy Technician Trainee Program utilizing Ready to Hire to more quickly and affordably provide a steady pipeline of pharmacy technicians trained with the skills we are looking for.”

In addition to helping fill critical labor demands, Ready to Hire can help employers:

  • Expand and diversify their talent pool with hands-on train-to-hire programs that bring in more underrepresented groups than traditional application programs.
  • Reduce long-term hiring costs, including lower recruiting and screening costs as well as lower reskilling and turnover costs.
  • Increase retention with role-specific training that boosts employee engagement and retention in hard to fill roles. According to Cengage Work customer feedback, nearly seven in 10 learners say their education played a role in staying longer with their current organization.

For learners and current and potential employees, train-to-hire programs also have important benefits:

  • Clear path to employment: with employer sponsored programs, learners gain the right skills for the most in-demand roles and have a direct path to job placement or advancement. Ninety-four percent of trainees in “earn and learn” pathways are hired soon after completing their training.
  • Individual growth and advancement: 81 percent of employees feel they are gaining skills that help them in their current role and 88 percent expect their training or new credential to lead to internal advancement opportunities, according to Cengage customer feedback.

For employers looking to find and develop talent and learners looking to expand their career opportunities, please visit the Cengage Work website at

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