Employee Development and Training Program Evaluation Key Topics at Spring Contract Education Conference
California’s Community Colleges are in a unique position to deliver high-performance employee development and training programs to business. Whether a company requires employee training in basic computer skills or in highly specialized areas such as advanced manufacturing technology, a college’s contract education department can draw upon a vast resource pool of educators, trainers, subject matter experts, and workplace-specific curriculum to rapidly deliver customized training programs. Each year, contract education professionals from the state’s 113 community colleges gather to discuss best practice, client success stories, and methods for training program evaluation. To follow is a recap of the Spring 2016 conference.
The Spring Contract Education Conference, held at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District offices in Dublin, CA, offered great content for both experienced and new contract education professionals. The conference content was developed to provide attendees with relevant information and real-world examples of ways to develop and evaluate their employee development and training programs.
Because the conference was designed to be participatory, attendees were highly engaged and had many opportunities throughout the day to interact and network. During Q&A sessions, attendees posed engaging questions and opinions that explored all sides of issues related to:
- Developing a regional contract education focus for the delivery of employee development and training programs;
- Demonstrating the value contract education provides to internal and external audiences;
- Developing and maintaining the brand and reputation of contract education programs.
Cassandra Storey, executive director, customized training, Employee Training Institute, San Diego Community College District, and Becky Barabe, Director of Business, Industry, and Community Services, Merced College, gave a presentation on how their respective college districts are succeeding at developing a regional focus for contract education program delivery. Both presenters also spoke to the challenges that regional collaboration entails.
Claire Laughlin, organizational communication consultant and trainer, Cabrillo College, gave an excellent presentation on maintaining and protecting the brand and reputation of a college’s contract education program. She gave examples of how she vets and evaluates contract trainers to ensure they are aligned with her department’s standard of quality and with her client’s needs.
Attendees’ Top Conference Takeaways
“My biggest take away was the reinforcement of my perception that local contract education programs are an essential tool to helping colleges make effective links with business and industry leaders in their communities. Every college should have a well developed contract education program.”
Phil Hartley, Ph.D.
President Emeritus, West Valley College
Technical Assistance Provider to the California Community Colleges
“My best takeaway was connecting with my peers! That was really great! My next best takeaway was hearing about the successes the California Corporate College is having with social media marketing and other outreach efforts.”
Organizational Communication Consultant and Trainer
Leadership Challenge Certified Facilitator, DDI Certified Trainer
“Contract education has no “cookie cutter” model. There are myriad ways to create a successful CE program. It is our creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for the work CE does that can make a difference for clients, program participants, and our colleges. Never underestimate what can be accomplished by contract education professionals when ideas, information, and resources come together, and when we support and collaborate with each other!”
Economic Development and Contract Education & Apprenticeship Programs
Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
“As a contract education specialist, I was very thankful for the opportunity to come to a Contract Ed statewide conference because it enabled me to see that all of our departments across the state face the same issues and feel the same way. We’re not the only ones who feel sometimes like we lack support from our college and the statewide community college system!
I enjoyed learning about ROI and walking away with resources on how to implement an ROI program in our department.
I also enjoyed networking with others and learning from Eldon and Dave Teasdale about how they work their ETP programs.”
Training Resource Center Specialist
Employer Training and Community Education
College of the Sequoias
“Learning about some strategies for doing Contract education for credit and
the pressing need we have to develop a communication plan to ensure that colleges understand the benefits of contract education.”
Director, Economic and Workforce Development Programs and the 21st Century Energy Center
Kern Community College District
“Jack Phillips of the ROI Institute did an amazing job of speaking to the importance of evaluation and data collection that demonstrates the business impact contract education training programs are producing for clients and for the colleges. I found Jack’s presentation timely because it is increasingly important that contract education professionals are able to effectively tell the story of the value they create by delivering results-driven employee training and development programs to local businesses.”
Contact us if your organization requires employee training programs to be delivered to multiple sites within a geographic region or or across the entire state, and beyond.