An often overlooked “jewel” right in a company’s back yard is the Corporate Services Division housed within the local Community College. With 1200 Community Colleges nationwide, the resources are plentiful and affordable. Today, Community Colleges with Corporate Services Departments are agile and poised to respond to a business customer’s needs immediately. Here are some reasons why Community Colleges are a great choice for corporate training:
1. Receive Credentialing, Certificates or CEU’S – When utilizing a Community College for corporate training, the employee not only gains knowledge and improved job skills, but may receive college credits towards a degree, certifications in specific programs, certificate of completion or Continuing Education Units (CEU’S). Community Colleges are in the business of learning.
2. Understand the Adult Learner – Successful Corporate Services Divisions understand adult learners and how they learn. Therefore, the college offers on-line learning, stand-up training, webinars, consulting, coaching, mentoring, performance improvement, iPod training in small chunks, CD-ROM based learning, social networking, retreats, and more.
3. Value-Based Pricing – Community Colleges are affordable because of partnerships with multiple vendors and consultants, current available grants and sometimes state funding. It is all about value and making a difference in the organization. The goal is to provide solutions to company needs in an affordable manner. Corporate Services Divisions already have partnerships with national vendors, local Workforce Boards, State Agencies, Economic Development Councils and Chambers of Commerce. These partnerships open a larger selection of solutions for businesses.
4. Reputation and Brand Equity – Most Community Colleges have been around for awhile. The reputation and brand equity of the College is already established. The Corporate Services Division is an extension of that brand, and they understand what it means to operate as a business within an academic institution. Companies learn quickly that the relationship is here to stay—the college is here today and here tomorrow.
5. One-Stop Provider – The corporate training arm of the Community College generally is structured to meet multiple needs of the business community. This could include Leadership and Computer Training, Going Green Programs, Lean Six Sigma Programs, re-licensure programs, certifications, and more. Community Colleges are able to offer more solutions than a single provider.
6. Customize the Solution – Once the company needs are identified, the college account representative will customize programs to meet specific needs. This could include modifying existing programs to meet needs or begin with total curriculum development. The solution may be presented in phases and include more than training—such as assessment, pre-testing, consulting, post-testing, coaching and more.
7. Pre-screened Instructor/Facilitators – Community Colleges screen their Instructor/Facilitators before hiring to ensure the highest level of business expertise, facilitation experience, and love of teaching. Some colleges have over 100 different instructors available to work with businesses and bring their expertise to the table.
8. Similar Goals – Community College missions are about building a better community and workforce. Most businesses have this same mission. The Community College is usually in the local neighborhood, and easily accessible to businesses. It is good public relations to partner with the local Community College, and synergistic to work with a partner that is aligned with similar goals.
9. Long-Term Relationship – The college account representative who meets with the company understands the needs and issues of the company, creates a solution’s-based proposal and does what they promise. They build a long-term relationship with the company and responds quickly to requests. They know and understand the company’s ever-changing needs in this economy. They design programs just for these customers and look for new, innovative ways to help the company meet their goals.
10. Responsive – Community Colleges understand working at the speed of business. The Corporate Services Division responds to telephone calls, e-mails and other requests for information, pricing, curriculum suggestions, assessments, testing options or focus groups.
As businesses emerge from the recession, uncover workforce development needs and look for the best dollar value, the Corporate Services Division housed within the Community College is the answer. Where else are so many options and solutions provided in a one-stop resource? The Corporate Services Division effortlessly provides multiple delivery methods, value-added pricing, as well as a strong reputation for understanding the adult learner. Sometimes the search for solutions is really in a company’s back yard.