Handcrafted Learning Celebrates Its Anniversary as a Certified Minority-owned Business

Handcrafted Learning, a learning and development company that serves Fortune 500 clients, has been minority- and woman-owned since it was founded in 2009. This month marks the five-year anniversary of Handcrafted Learning becoming certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the two leading certification organizations for minority- and women-owned businesses in the United States.

Certification by each organization was a milestone in Handcrafted Learning’s history. “Handcrafted Learning has always been proud to be a woman- and minority-owned small business,” said Handcrafted Learning’s owner and co-founder, Dorothy Cafino Finnigan. “One of the best parts of becoming certified by WBENC and NMSDC has been the opportunity to connect with other women of color who lead businesses. It’s a really special community that supports one another.”

Increasingly, Fortune 500 companies are measuring their internal and external impact on equity. “Over the last few years, many of our clients have started using an inclusion index or diversity scorecard to track their progress,” said Handcrafted Learning’s Director of Operations, Soo Choi. “One of the ways companies evaluate their impact on diversity and inclusion is by collecting data on the diversity of their supplier base.”

For Handcrafted Learning and the 12,000 minority-owned businesses certified by NMSDC and the 18,000 women-owned businesses certified by WBENC, being certified allows clients to track and report that data.

Women of color are a distinct minority among founders and leaders of tech companies. “Thanks to WBENC and NMSDC, we’ve met trailblazing women of color leading companies in other male-dominated industries like finance, data and analytics, and manufacturing,” Cafino Finnigan said. “As women of color running a business, it can be easy to feel alone because you don’t often see yourself represented. That’s why it’s so powerful and inspiring to be part of these organizations. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met, and the ways we’ve been able to help each other, practically and personally.”

About Handcrafted Learning

Handcrafted Learning is a learning and development company that designs and develops innovative learning experiences for its Fortune 500 clients. Its team has served clients in every major industry, including high-tech, hospitality, and financial services. Handcrafted Learning is proud to be a certified minority-owned and woman-owned business.


eCom Learning Solutions Welcomes Dunfermline’s New City Status

 Scotland’s leading digital learning and assessment specialist, eCom Learning Solutions, has welcomed the decision to name Dunfermline as one of eight new cities, so designated to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

According to the UK’s Cabinet Office, Dunfermline, as a new city, can expect a boost to local communities and an opening-up of new opportunities for people who live there. It cited research suggesting that, after it was appointed a city in 2012, Perth, in Scotland, has seen the local economy expand by 12% in the decade – principally through this putting Perth ‘on the international map’ and, thus, attracting foreign business.

“With eCom Learning Solutions’ headquarters being in Dunfermline for the last 25 years, I’m delighted with its new city status,” commented Wendy Edie, eCom’s Managing Director. “For a place with such rich royal history, it’s fitting that Dunfermline is becoming a city as we celebrate our longest-serving monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.

“This new status should help raise our profile, along with all Dunfermline-based businesses that are eyeing international markets. It should certainly give a boost to eCom’s international business – in terms of the eLearning and eAssessment – including virtual reality (VR) assessment – materials we produce, along with the systems we offer, including the eNetLearn learning management system (LMS).

“eCom already generates nearly 55% of its annual revenue from outside the UK, with a further eight per cent coming from sales to organisations in England,” added Wendy. “We have current clients in the USA, Canada, the European Union, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent – and we’re opening-up markets in southern Africa among other places.”

The announcement of Dunfermline’s new civic honours makes it Scotland’s eighth city, joining Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and Inverness. Dunfermline, which has a population of nearly 59,000 people, was granted the honour based on its royal associations and cultural heritage, as well as the uniqueness of its community and distinct local identity.

While Dunfermline’s most famous son is Andrew Carnegie, whose steel industry helped to build America, the city was once Scotland’s capital and one of the seats of the kings of Scotland in the Middle Ages. The new city’s first notable incident occurred in the 11th Century when Malcolm III, King of Scots, married Margaret at the church (later the Abbey) in Dunfermline.

Dunfermline Abbey became a royal mausoleum for the Scottish Crown, with some 18 royals, including Robert The Bruce, buried there. The Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603 ended Dunfermline’s town’s connections, when James VI (known as James I in England) relocated the Scottish Court to London in 1603.

eCom creates innovative learning solutions – aimed at increasing learning engagement and driving productivity – to help organisations achieve their goals. With offices in Dunfermline, Scotland, and Athens, Georgia, in the USA, but with customers from around the world, eCom focuses on the delivery, tracking and reporting of workforce learning and development through innovative technologies. Its products and services address a range of workforce management, development and training challenges, including eLearning, online assessment, blended learning, competency management and accreditation.

eCom Scotland

Allan MacLean

00 44 1383 630032




  • State & Local Government

Switzer Learning Center Students Participate in Annual Special Olympics Day Activities

 Friday marked the 23rd annual Switzer Learning Center Special Olympics Day at Alta Loma Park in Torrance. It was a perfect spring day where volunteers from Torrance Refining Company, community members, family and friends gathered to help kick off the one-day event which included Olympic-style competitive activities.

The Annual Switzer Olympics Day returned from a 3-year hiatus, due to the pandemic. This year, the culminating event was an opportunity for all age groups, diploma-track and alternative curriculum students, to socialize and build connections in an open environment not able to be experienced on campus.

“This is an off-campus event that incorporates students of all learning abilities to exercise and practice their social skills. The Olympics Day event encourages community togetherness, healthy competition and engages students who don’t often participate in physical, outdoor activities,” said Telpher Youman, Dean of Students at Switzer Learning Center.

Each Olympics Day station was set up so groups of students could experience and participate at their own pace. Events included the long run, arm hang, free throw, football throw, 40-yard dash, sit ups, trunk lift, and jump rope. Staff and volunteers were on hand to assist and encourage the students with each challenge. Many students needed support and encouragement to participate, but as the day progressed the increase in their self-confidence was evident.

The day ended with students and staff coming together to celebrate with a BBQ luncheon including fresh produce donated by The Children’s Community Center.

About Switzer Learning Center

Switzer Center is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966 with a mission of “Nurturing children, teens, and young adults of all abilities to believe, achieve, and thrive.” Switzer Learning Center’s 5th-12th grade, co-educational, nonpublic, special education school, and clinical services serve children, teens, and young adults with mild to severe learning, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Students work with a highly trained team of credentialed special education teachers, licensed psychologists, licensed speech and language pathologists, art therapists, certified Crisis Prevention Intervention specialists, and other related service providers who are dedicated to help students achieve academic, vocational and personal goals unattainable in conventional educational settings. Learn more about Switzer Learning Center at www.switzercenter.org.

Switzer Learning Center

Talia Sandoval





  • Children & Youth
  • Disability
  • Education
  • K-12 Education
  • Mental Health
  • Parenting
  • Philanthropy & Non-profit
  • Society
  • Sports

Canada – The Canada Learning Bond

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money from the Government of Canada to help pay for post-secondary education. It provides an initial payment of $500 in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and $100 for each subsequent benefit year of eligibility, up to the benefit year in which the beneficiary turns 15, to a maximum of $2,000. Contributions are not required to receive the CLB.

The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money from the Government of Canada to help pay for post-secondary education. It provides an initial payment of $500 in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and $100 for each subsequent benefit year of eligibility, up to the benefit year in which the beneficiary turns 15, to a maximum of $2,000. Contributions are not required to receive the CLB. 

Eligibility for the CLB is based on family income. In addition, recipients must:

be born on or after January 1, 2004;
be a resident of Canada;
have a valid Social Insurance Number; and
be named as a beneficiary to an RESP.

Children in care for whom the Children’s Special Allowance is paid also qualify for the CLB.

For children under the age of 18, their primary caregiver, or the spouse or common-law partner of the primary caregiver, can request the CLB on behalf of the child. The primary caregiver is the person who is eligible to receive the Canada Child Benefit in the child’s name.

In addition, the child’s primary caregiver must have applied for the Canada Child Benefit for the child through the Canada Revenue Agency and must continue to file income tax returns, so that eligibility can be validated.

The CLB is retroactive. It can be requested on behalf of an eligible child, and the child can still receive the entire amount that they would have been eligible for had it been requested from birth.

Beginning in January 2022, individuals who were eligible for the CLB as children but did not receive it can apply for it themselves when they reach the age of 18. They will have until the day before they turn 21 to apply.

Jane Deeks

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough


Summit Learning Institute Offers Homeschooling Courses for Children

 As soon as the COVID-19 lockdowns started, schools all over the world closed or transitioned to online studies. To help parents provide quality education to their children in these turbulent times, Summit Learning Institute offers homeschooling courses at affordable rates.

As homeschooling offers more flexibility and convenience, many parents prefer this method instead of admitting their children to regular schools. In 2020 only, the proportion of households with school-aged children practicing homeschooling increased from 5.5% to 11.1%.

Homeschooling is a more convenient option for parents and children, but maintaining the same education standards at home is not as easy. This is where Summit Learning Institute comes to the rescue.

Summit Learning Institute is an online education gateway that offers a range of courses to help students learn new skills and subjects from the comfort of their homes. Courtesy of the unprecedented advancements in technology over the past few years, online education is no more a hassle.

Instead, it offers more interesting ways for the instructors to interact with the students and make the lectures engaging, unlike ordinary classrooms. From online quizzes to digital educational games to the deployment of cloud and AI technology, instructors at Summit Learning Institute utilize every given technology to make their courses more organized and provide a healthy learning experience to children of all ages.

Speaking about the virtual learning platform, a Summit Learning Institute representative stated, “At Summit Learning Institute, we understand that online learning is more convenient for children. However, at the same time, it can be difficult for the parents to keep their children interested in studies. To help you effectively deal with the problems, we make all our homeschooling courses incredibly interesting and fun. Your child won’t get easily bored with the studies because we customize the course according to their schedules and integrate several fun-filled activities to keep them engaged.”

Regardless of their class, geographical location, or cultural background, Summit Learning Institute treats all its students with equal respect and prioritizes their interests over all other things. They aim to build a diverse community of online learners where everyone benefits and gets an opportunity to expand their network.

In addition to homeschooling, the online learning platform also offers courses for parents, job seekers and employers, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

About the company

Summit Learning Institute is an online learning gateway, which offers a myriad of online courses for children and adults. Their services include online leadership and management courses, online homeschooling courses, online courses for entrepreneurs, and more.

Contact information

Website: https://summitlearninginstitute.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/summitlearninginstitute

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/summitlearninginstitute/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLIeLearning

Summit Learning Institute

Dr. NNeka Allen-Harrison

(650) 474-5640




  • Education
  • K-12 Education
  • Online Education