by Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.
Proactive Technologies, Inc. has worked with many employers over the years, establishing and technically supporting cost-effective, task-based structured on-the-job training programs. For each employer, every effort is made to tailor the worker training system to accommodate the employer’s budget, job classifications (even unique training programs for each job classification in each department), business goals and manage the system through all types of change. Unlike some products or services that require the employer to change practices that work in order to utilize them, the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development is built around what is working for the employer, incorporating established information such as work processes and specifications, safety standards, quality standards, etc. This approach minimizes the need for the employer’s culture to drastically change what works for them, focusing instead on improvements in an area of weakness.
The main steps used to build an employer-based structured workforce development system starts with understanding the desired outcome first:
“There is no doubt this approach is effective. After all, what is better: unstructured and haphazard worker training that cannot be explained, measured, improved or understood, or structured on-the-job training for all workers that is easily measured, implemented, improved and explained to auditors?”
- Determine the Employer’s Need and Agree on Strategy: How has the client been (or not been) training workers until now; what are the current and projected staffing levels for incumbents and new-hires along with attrition rate and reassignments; is the culture supportive of training workers and see it as vital to competitiveness; are any task-based documents available and are they in use (e.g. work processes, quality standards, safety standards); which jobs are targeted and why; is the company following any quality mandates, such as ISO/TS/AS and do they have any quality programs underway such as LEAN, Six Sigma; what is the budget for setting up the structured on-the-job training program and implementation. A strategy encompassing all of these points is prepared for the employer before an agreement and timetable is confirmed.
- Job/Task Analyze the Target Job Classifications: The analysis is always performed using the employer’s subject matter experts to develop task lists of each targeted job classification, then each task is analyzed further for the best practice; also identified are relevant components that lead a trainee to reach “task mastery;” a review of data by subject matter experts is held to reach a concurrence on data; materials to structure the on-the-job training are created (the PROTECH© software system accelerates the data collection process and automatically generates all of the tools of the human resource development process from the data – materials are ready in minutes not years…at a fraction of the cost of manual development. One revision updates all reports.). Read More
by Stacey Lett, Regional Manager – Eastern United States, Proactive Technologies, Inc.
Political winds frequently change direction, sometimes leading to calls to create or unwind existing labor and safety regulations. Enacting and implementing changes to company policies, and disseminating changes to the troops, in response takes more thoughtfulness and planning. Regulations and laws that have evolved over time as the result of events that set them in motion usually have some fundamental rationale that everyone can agree with, or they would have been badly battered during public hearings and public review. The disagreement usually revolves around scope, impact of the law on the non-offenders, and ideological divides.
Congressional changes to labor laws or presidential executive orders usually do not take effect overnight. It may take years for a bill to clear the House and Senate for the president’s signature and/or for the affected agency to make the transition. There will be many impacted groups waiting to litigate the change and the court process can take years with appeals to higher courts. If shot down in whole or in part, then it will be remanded to the lower court to find a legal solution, before potentially starting another series of legislative activities.
While all this is going on, political tides that brought in the change may begin to turn back. Often one political party or the other overreaches, or misreads their constituents and acts against their voter’s interests. The make-up of Congress and or the presidency in the next election may push the pendulum back.
A good strategy for employers during days like this is to try to learn as much as possible about the proposed changes. No matter if industry groups are behind the successful push for changes in laws and regulations, this does not mean the changes will survive. So, it is a good idea to remain pragmatic and realistic during these times. Try to project how the change will be received by your customers and by employees in your organization. Then weigh the benefits of making policy revisions to incorporate the regulatory changes versus the costs of the policy changes – including financial costs, costs to morale (if any) and the costs if these government changes are later reversed and the company has to reverse its policies to match.
by Frank Gibson, Special Projects Coordinator -The Ohio State University – Alber Enterprise Center
Community and technical colleges, career centers and joint vocational schools have always struggled with how to make a positive difference in workforce training. They often bear the brunt of criticism for the “skills gap” employers report when, in reality, employers share equally in the responsibility. Educational institutions have only the resources and capacity to provide core skill training upon which only employers can then provide on-the-job training to drive trainees to the job mastery needed.
Educational institutions are often tempted to assume more of the employer’s role in worker development but run into budget, feasibility and practicality limitations. This distracts them from their very important role of maintaining perpetually relevant core skill and related technical instruction that a high-quality technical education requires. Trying to provide all things to all employers never was the role of educational institutions so they should not take it too personally when good-intentioned efforts do not reach the expectations for them.
These institutions are often encouraged to use their limited resources to buy equipment or build facilities in order to support “customized, hands-on training.” The employer already has the facility and the latest technology in that community. The hard part has been convincing the employer that the school has a viable strategy that makes the employer want to imbed structured on-the-job training into the onsite natural order of learning the job. It would be even harder to convince them a training program, targeting a specific job of theirs, can be more effective offsite at a training facility than onsite.
Technology shifts so fast these days, and the focus of workforce training is so volatile, that it makes little sense for educational institutions to purchase equipment for training when only a few employers have similar equipment and the equipment may be obsolete before the school gets through the purchasing, installation and instructor training stages let alone before someone completes a 2-year training program. In addition, the company or companies that were targeted for this training might be acquired, closed or moved – leaving before any return on the investment of time, money and facilities are realized.
Proactive Technologies Discount Program Ends, But…“Low-Risk” Pilot Approach Option Remains in Effect
The Proactive Technologies, Inc.’s Discount Offer expired April 30th. However, discounts are still offered for “economies of scale” (the larger the project, the larger the savings due to coordinated travel, production costs and labor). PLUS, Proactive Technologies has continued the “low-risk” project pilot approach offer for those employers who need to make the case to management before rolling out a larger project.
This accelerated transfer of expertise™ approach is a tremendous offer without the discount. This approach can help any employer quickly and completely train the skilled workers they need AND realize an increase in worker capacity, work quantity/quality and compliance (ISO/TS/AS, engineering specifications and safety) while reducing the internal costs of training. New-hires and incumbent workers are driven to full job mastery and higher levels of return on worker investment (ROWI). The task-based, structured on-the-job training infrastructure is perfect for apprenticeships; instead of marking the calendar for “time-in-job,” job-relevant tasks are mastered and documented.AND, unlike classroom or online training, the cost per trainee decreases with each added trainee once set up.
This approach makes a worker’s mastery of the job the focus, integrating into the company’s existing systems and standards by building structure around the loosely arranged worker development activities already in place. Structuring the unstructured worker training to make it work effectively and efficiently.
Once Proactive Technologies, Inc. understands the clients needs, a proposal will be created that outlines the activities in 2-phases:
- Phase 1 – One Job Classification Structured On-The-Job Training Program Creation and Implementation to prove the concept and approach to the client before the client expands the project to other areas;
- Phase 2 – Expand Project to Include Other Job Classifications. Making the case to management for expansion is easier when an in-house pilot project eliminated the risk. The larger the scale-up the larger the discounts for “economies of scale.”
Proactive Technologies is confident that, once your firm experiences the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development, you will recognize its capabilities to maximize your workforce and cut your training costs. That is why PTI is willing to let your firm find this out at the pace and investment level that you are comfortable first, then work with you to scale up within your budget to reach your goals.
Once a pilot project is underway and if the client is interested, Proactive Technologies will research worker development state grant sources, help prepare an application and submit it. If successful Proactive Technologies will help you make sure you receive the maximum grant amount. Proactive Technologies has, for decades, successfully helped many clients to defray part or all of their initial investment and/or project expansion.
Contact Proactive Technologies, Inc. for more information about this program and a representative will be in touch.
Read the full May, 2017 newsletter, including linked industry articles and online presentation schedules.