A Story about Charlie – Employee Training that goes beyond Learning!

I wanted to share a story about Charlie, a 62 year old technician from a large Fortune 20 telecom company.  At the time, Charlie told me he couldn’t retire soon because he recently took custody of his grandson.  So Charlie signed up for a Community College certification course through his company that was customized program to help install, troubleshoot and connect computers onto the company’s new fiber-optic network.  This was a 16 week class, meeting 2 days week for 3 hours per session.  It was both a theory and hands-on based class.

 

I met Charlie when he registered for the program and I constantly checked in on the class to see how the class was going and how Charlie was doing. Well, Charlie loved the course and his instructor told me Charlie was the best performer in the class, always arrived early and most of the time took all of his computer equipment home with him.  Also, his positive enthusiasm towards learning actually was infectious throughout the whole class.  In fact, the instructor wished he had his on-going energy and positive outlook!

 

At the end of the training, the college would celebrate with a small graduate ceremony.  We would invite both the college’s senior staff and the client’s staff to congratulate the technicians for the successful completion of the program.  Each person would come to the podium to receive their certificate of achievement.

 

When Charlie’s name was mentioned, Charlie walked up to the podium and asked if he could speak a few words to the audience.  Charlie spoke about his grandson being in and out of juvenile detention centers, nobody caring for him, always in trouble and never was interested in anything.  When Charlie was bringing his books and equipment home, he noticed his son started to take an interest in what he was doing.  He started learning about computer hardware, operating systems and networking with Charlie.  He stopped going out and started to work with Charlie in repairing and maintaining computers…

 

In registering for this course, Charlie, never in his wildest dreams thought his grandson would have any interest in computers and he was so proud of how a course like this helped to create a wonderful bond at this stage of his life!  This meant more to him than the actual training and certificate he received.

 

Today, Charlie is semi-retired and works for his grandson who owns a computer repair and maintenance store in Tampa, FL…

 

www.thelearningstrategy.com

September 2016 College – Workforce Development Benchmark Results – AIDA

Here’s a summary of the AIDA Survey and Benchmark Results – Executive Summary of the groundbreaking research done by The Learning Strategy, Inc.

College and Customer gap analysis that includes Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA) in the degree and workforce development area.

Please contact The Learning Strategy, Inc for the full report and scheduling any pre-conference workshops on this topic.

 

Putting the Puzzle Together – Higher Education and Customer Engagement

Our colleges play an important role in educating our students and adult learners.  There are four (4) groups of people that higher education positively impact:

  1. Young people who are coming out of school looking for good jobs.
  2. Unemployed people that have learned a new skill and are looking for good jobs.
  3. Under skilled people who have improved their credentials and are looking for good jobs.
  4. Incumbent workers who are currently employed and are trying to grow into a better job.

All four (4) of these conditions revolve around the student, higher education providers and the hiring customer (i.e. employers, organizations). It’s sort of the “build great programs, educate students and employers will come.”

We found out in some cases this is true, however in most cases it is not.  In today’s competitive environment, students and adult learners are being consulted by colleges and workforce agencies about the degrees and certifications that will lead to more or better jobs with employers.  Yet employers are not participating in the process and many aren’t even aware about the talent that is available.  This could more of a marketing problem than it is a talent problem.

For example, when we get the opportunity to talk with employers or organizations, most of them aren’t aware of the college’s capabilities and how they can help them achieve their company goals and objectives.   Below are some of these capabilities that employers are excited to meet about:

  • Workforce Development – Only 24% of the employers we surveyed in 2016 are familiar with workforce development, contract training and continuing education programs. They want to know more….
  • Online Programming – Larger enterprise employers are constantly looking for cutting-edge, interactive online programs – programs they can license with and make available on their Learning Management System (LMS). They want to know more….
  • Co-Branded, Instructional Design and Curriculum Development – Employer’s need good curriculum designers especially for new, state-of-the-art products and services. They want to know more….
  • Foundations – What a great way for employers to get involved and contribute to a great cause – Educational Scholarships! They want to know more….
  • Job Recruiting – Believe it or not, most employers we talk with are not aware of things like job fairs, employer recruitment pools and who to contact. They want to know more….
  • Employer Tuition Assistance – For those employers who have tuition assistance programs, many colleges and universities are not participating and many are not aware that non degree certificates may be part of these programs. They want colleges to participate…
  • Federal, State or Local Workforce Training Grants – For employers or students that need assistance, most are not aware of what is available to them and how to apply.
  • Events – When we talk with employers about college hosted events, many want to participate and sponsor. They want to know more….

Put the power of your college to work and ask us how we’re helping some of the world’s most successful employers and organizations engage with their colleges and universities – and how we can help to do the same for you.

General Dynamics, NYC Department of Corrections, Interactive One, Verizon Safety and Environmental Health, Nestle Waters, The Highlands, Regional Transportation Authorities, Foursquare, Equinox, B-Reel, CPXI, Coca-Cola, Avtron Aerospace, Hyland Software, Jergens, Vitamix Corp,  Forum Energy Technologies, Lasco Enterprises, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Valero Energy, CST Brands and many, many more….

Community Colleges: If You Want To Engage with Employers, Rethink Your Marketing Strategy and Business Outreach Efforts.

When employers think of a Community College, they usually think of a place for a student to receive a quality two year education at an affordable price.  My experience talking with business executives about colleges in their local community is almost always favorable – “I received my 2-year degree at a community college or my son or daughter received their 2 year degree.” Employers know what community colleges do in benefiting a student’s academic needs in the communities they serve.

What many students and employers are not aware of are how community colleges can directly impact their career development and business performance.   Community college capabilities include customized employee training programs, continuing education, lifelong learning, access to business grants, tuition assistance planning, co-sponsoring events, being a foundation board member, participating in student – employer pools, career fairs and many other value-added partnership programs.  All of the above help employers improve efficiencies, employee morale, exposure in the community and most importantly, their bottom-line.

Marketing budgets can be a challenge and resources can be limited for community colleges, however below are eight (8) cost effective tips to rethink your marketing and business outreach efforts:

Testing and Analytics – Stop guessing if you need a new website or if you can improve your existing website.  Employer and student first impression of you website can ultimately impact engagement and conversion.  Always test and analyze your design structure and navigational flow of information.  The benefit of continuous testing and monitoring is more practical and less expensive rather that making major overhauls.

 LMS Analysis – If you want to make an employer feel like a strategic partner, they must feel that way across all departments in the college.  For example, if they invested in your foundation, you better make sure you treat them well if they’re interested in Contract Training.  This builds positive employer awareness of the college and you’ll see more of an investment in other programs and services that you provide.  Analyze the feasibility of communicating between your website – automation – LMS.

Make it easy to reach you – If an employer is viewing your website about something they’re interested in, automate their interests to the right person or department.  I remember one employer accessed our main website who wanted a corporate group leadership program and it took 4-5 attempts until they found the right sub domain address….  Also, if they send you a lead form, return their request by the end of the day.

Be proactive – Don’t wait for an employer to contact you.  Be proactive, send 4-5 blogs, videos, campaigns, events, sponsorships and or news every week.  In today’s competitive market, you can’t wait until someone contacts you.  Take advantage of your good reputation, you are special and employers love to hear from your college and learn about what’s new and how you can work together.

Get employers involved, for free – Ask them to volunteer for events like Kids College Day, Lunch n Learns, Advisory Councils, Speaking engagements.  Employers enjoy giving back to the community and sharing a day with college students and faculty.

Brainstorm with Employers – Brainstorm and think of cross promotional ideas to present to the community.  Finding that synergy between business and education that really taps into community trust and involvement.

Reporting and Measurements – Are you effectively driving SEO traffic to your website, are you converting that traffic, are you registering more students?  During your requirements gathering, your goals need to be identified, measured and reported.

Go Mobile – More and more students (Gen Z & Y) and employers are going mobile in their interactions and expect the same from their educational partners.  Make it easy for employers and students to connect, register and learn through mobile applications.

Community colleges need a flexible website that will allow them to attract more employers and students, update content easily, provide a great mobile experience and give them insights behind their course registrations, enrollments, campaigns and events.

The Learning Strategy has been working with colleges and employers for 15 years and we look forward in using our experience in optimizing community college websites, coordinating and building partnerships between our colleges, businesses and the workforce investment system – creating pathways in workforce improvement, student internships and job placement.

 

The Admissions Perspective

The Admissions Perspective: How Academic Leaders Are Facing a Continuously Changing State Of Admissions is based on the survey results of enrollment leaders at four-year, not-for-profit Higher Educational Institutions. These fall into a selected group of classifications developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement Teaching. Maguire Associates, of Concord, Mass. invited random samples of enrollment leaders, and in both 2014 and 2015, 15 percent responded. The data collection took place in July 2014 and May 2015.  College Enrollments

How concerned are you in improving your admissions process and the value of your institution?  What are the top challenges facing your admission officers and enrollment managers?

These are serious questions that are identified in the study and can greatly impact the engagement, enrollment and retention of student (especially Gen Z & Y) services.

See www.myccmajors.com (community colleges) and www.mymajors.com/privatelabel (universities and colleges).  Take the Challenge!