November 19, 2012 Posted by admin721 in News

Learner First, poised for growth, expands at Seven21

In December of 2005, Learner First was formed to support public education by providing innovative school improvement and parent choice programs that utilized a differentiated blended & on-line learning model. They joined forces with Seven21 in June 2009 to accomplish an aggressive growth model that would provide free tutoring throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania to low-income children with 21st Century learning tools. Becoming a leader in the blended learning industry, with a 50% growth rate per year, Learner First realized that Seven21 could offer them more than an office space. Seven21 provided Learner First a facility that would provide room for expansion along with a think-tank of cutting edge entrepreneurs. When Learner First created a single sign on data management system, CORE, that addressed the new demands of educational reform, they didn’t have to go far for creative guidance and expertise when building their website, implementing marketing strategies, print advertisement, and honing their message. With over thirty combined years of digital development and marketing experience, Sean Mahoney and Mike Kilpatrick, from Next Step Digital, assisted Learner First in branding and marketing initiatives by using a variety of strategies. Initially, they designed and developed a new website that was supported by the design and implementation of a complete marketing plan, logos, and associated collateral. The strong collaboration and camaraderie between the two companies created a positive and dynamic work environment that fostered innovation and generated a collective vested interest in one another’s success. By being in close proximity to one another, they found that there is increased opportunity to develop a close personal relationship as well as gain better in-sight to each companies culture, mission, and day-to-day operations. Working closely with their client, Next Step Digital was able to move a variety of technical, branding, and marketing initiatives forward, on budget and under tight deadlines. Mahoney said, “ Being at Seven21 benefited both Next Step Digital and Learner First greatly by providing a space and environment that allowed us to work together creatively and efficiently, allowing both companies to achieve their goals”. Learner First is doubling their space at Seven21 and hiring additional employees to support the demand in their new growth. Last year alone, 200 teachers were employed by Learner First. These teachers provided free blended learning programs to low-income students. In addition to providing extended learning time, Learner First employees are provided opportunities to conduct staff development and training workshops for CORE. Valerie Carelli, Vice President of Learner First, stated, “The spirit of collaboration allowed Learner First to focus on product development with confidence that their need for expanded space and marketing and technical expertise would be taken to a higher level by being a member of the Seven21 think-tank”. Now occupying three suites on the second floor at Seven21, with supportive and collaborative companies, Learner First sees a bright future as they value the personal aspect of teachers with twenty-first Century Technology.  As part of their expansion, Learner First, Next Step Digital, and Seven21 are major contributors to economic development in Ulster County and New York State.      
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