SOWELA Technical Community College’s workforce solutions department provides custom training for businesses of any size to take their employees to the next level. When current workers need to learn a new skill, enhance current skills or are elevating their status in the company, custom training creates tailored curriculum to fit any business need.
“The custom piece of it means that you are a unique organization,” Judy McCleary, director of business and industry services, said. “Your organization is unique and we want to design a unique training for you. We don’t just pull something off the shelf. That’s how we approach it.”
From businesses large and small, non-profits, government agencies and everything in between, SOWELA’s custom training allows employers to get to the heart of their business concerns, find and implement positive solutions.
“It all starts with planning,” McCleary said. “The best way to approach it is to ask, ‘What keeps you up at night?’”
Answers range from retention, leadership, communication, teamwork, safety and more, McCleary said. She and the department’s team of subject matter experts then rally around the employer’s identified need and develop a “one-stop, turn-key” training program all driven by the employer’s stated outcomes.
Instructors and class materials are delivered by SOWELA during the employer’s specified times. Because the program is not credit based, the department is flexible to meet whenever and wherever best suits the employer.
“We’re not bound by a particular schedule like the credit side is. Work hours, after-work hours, a convenient location — wherever they want it to take place is where it takes place,” McCleary said.
Whether referred to as custom training or talent, professional or workforce development, many companies already invest in such training, often at an elevated price and time commitment, rather than taking advantage of SOWELA’s custom training options.
“Companies may be sending people to Baton Rouge or Houston, or they’re paying additional dollars to bring someone in to do that (training). And it’s right here and would be certainly much more cost effective by doing it here.”
An even greater perk to using SOWELA’s services is that once the training is complete, it’s the property of the employer to utilize as they see fit in the future.
“They can use it as a refresher down the road, to train new employees, really whatever they see fit because it is theirs,” McCleary said.
Custom training pricing depends upon the employer’s need and identified objectives. Fees are based on a per-class basis, enrollment size and number of hours required to complete the training.
Students work with expert instructors in a hands-on environment, often in the very location where work is undertaken daily.
“No one likes to sit in a classroom and have someone read to them from a PowerPoint presentation, so we do a lot activities to keep employees engaged,” McCleary said.
Employees end the training with a course evaluation and certificate of completion. However, the biggest return on investment may be the ability to retain good employees through training, McCleary said.
“One of the main reasons employers come to us for custom training is for the retention of good employees,” she said.
While raises and bonuses go far in maintaining strong employees, training is another valuable investment.
Custom training says, “I want you to move up in this organization. I want you to stick around. I’ve got big plans for you,” McCleary said. “In order to reinforce that idea beyond monetary, with custom training you’re saying ‘I’m going to invest in you.’”
Turnaround for custom training ranges from one to two months, if an instructor is available.
For more information on SOWELA’s workforce solutions visit, www.sowela.edu/workforce-solutions or contact Judy McCleary at 421-6982.