Special Offer to South Carolina Manufacturers
ProactiveTechnologies, Inc. announced a special opportunity for South Carolina manufacturers who, prior to the “Economic Crash of 2008-2011,” participated in a structured on-the-job training program through one of the UpState community or technical colleges. Proactive Technologies provided the structured on-the-job training component and is extending a special discount offer through January 15th, 2016 to “pick up where we left off.” In addition, for any South Carolina manufacturers who haven’t yet experienced the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development, we have a great offer for you as well.
Prior to the Crash, Proactive Technologies had set up for many South Carolina manufacturers structured on-the-job training programs (some for multiple job classifications) that were in the process of implementation. This was in combination with related technical instruction to provide the employer and trainees a robust registered apprenticeship program. Some employers reached the apprenticeship registration stage, some had not. With the Crash came changes in client staffing, short-term priorities and workforce development contacts, so several of the programs went dormant though many continued through to today.
To refresh memories, click on these links for more information:
Proactive Technologies Report – August, 2015
Proactive Technologies Report – Summer, 2008
Proactive Technologies Report – Summer 2007
Proactive Technologies – Spartanburg CC Flyer 2006
A lot of effort went into setting up the original grant-funded program, and together success was reached in… Read more.
Costs Associated With Unstructured, Haphazard Worker Training (part 1 of 2)
Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.
I have met with many employers, in most industries, since 1987 when providing technical workforce development services. Often I am led to draw upon my own experiences when I worked in product configuration management, quality assurance, quality control and human resource development positions before starting my own company. After all, it was my frustration with the state of common practices in improving, measuring and managing performance that led me to start my own business. I hoped to help other employers address the issues that I was not allowed to in the positions I held due to interdepartmental friction or strict organizational boundaries associated with larger corporations.
I have many memories from that period, but there is one that continues to perplex me when I see it manifested at companies I visit. Sometimes I get the shivers and a foreboding sense of déjà vu.
Without exception, management expresses shear excitement when showcasing their latest technology and innovations. Equipment that will do what they previously have been doing but now faster, better and cheaper. New and better “best practices” and processes from continuous improvement efforts. Though impressed, I am reminded of the tradeoffs that must be considered in order to take advantage of the latest technology or process, or risk not realizing the improvement’s full potential.
The question is, “what truly takes less time and keeps costs down; throwing two people together and hoping for the best or a thoughtful, structured and deliberate task-based on-the-job training program for the ‘accelerated transfer of expertise™?”
-from Part 2
Prior to starting my own company, while working at one major aerospace manufacturer in the quality control department, a department meeting was called to inform us that within the week three $500,000 Zeiss coordinate measurement machines were going to be installed. Of course we were excited – this was truly state of the art at that time. The equipment was delivered, carefully installed and calibrated as advertised and each quality inspector couldn’t wait for their turn to learn how to use it. Read More
Education-Employer Partnerships That Work
By Frank Gibson, Program Manager – The Ohio State University Alber Enterprise Center
A lot is being said these days about “employer-responsive” worker training programs. I think all educational institutions want to believe they have all the answers to all of the challenges employers face. Although I have found that we have many of the answers for many disciplines, it is important to realize our limitations and either find other resources to fill the gap or be truthful with the client so that they might look elsewhere for those answers and solutions.
The Ohio State University – Alber Enterprise Center has been around since 1996 and was founded on the premise that we provide educational and technical consulting services to business enterprises throughout our region to help them grow and prosper. Whether to help them train their workers to the latest in technical skills or train their management on the latest management theories and best practices, the Alber Center has assembled an extensive network of institutional and private training providers to meet their needs and have continued to expand our network to help our employer-clients maintain their competitive best.
While we feel we do a good job of providing foundation skills for all levels of an operation, we recognize that an educational institution cannot, and really should not, provide employer-specific, task-based training. Read more.
When is Illustrating Technical Materials Useful to the Learner?
Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.
Technical process documents standardize work processes in an attempt to maintain task performance at a consistent level of output. From organization to organization, process documents may vary in usefulness though required by ISO/AS/TS certification. Some may be too vague, too specific or too cluttered into lengthy paragraphs designed for human error. Nevertheless, the intended purpose is to offer guidance as to the “best practice” way of performing work. Whether illustrating technical documents is useful in achieving that goal is dependent on a few factors.
Technical processes, illustrated or not, are most useful to a worker when learning a task for the first time. Unless in a checklist format where step-by-step initials are required to document that no steps are missed, most process documents are reduced to a “reference status” Even though management and auditors want to believe process documents are followed intently each time, that is usually a “staged” behavior. In reality, once committed to a worker’s memory many documents are not seen by the user until the audit is scheduled. Unfortunate but true.
Sometimes more diligent workers make up for document inadequacy or lack of process documents by keeping notes in their lunchbox or, more precariously yet, in their head. Heaven forbid this is discovered during an audit. These notes not only are uncontrolled and unofficial, but they represent a wealth of “tribal knowledge” that is not routinely shared with new-hires. Mistakes that are known to have happened, and can be avoided if shared, are repeated with each trainee to everyone’s detriment. The fact that each employee feels the need to keep their own notes is a sign of some problem with process documentation and should be investigated.
Stepping back to get a better view of learning patterns of a typical worker may be helpful. Read more.
OH Incumbent Worker Training Voucher Grants Round 4
Stacey Lett, Senior Consultant, Proactive Technologies, Inc.
A fourth round of the Ohio Incumbent Worker Training Voucher program became available for applications on October 14th. At that time, those employers submitting the grant application would have had the best chance for approval. “Funding approvals for this program will be on a first-come, first-served basis” according to the OH IWT Guidelines.
If your organization was late to the party, there may still be an opportunity for those employers who were not able to conceive a project and prepare an application for grant funding. According to the OH IWT Guidelines, “Once the training funds are completely committed, the Ohio Development Services Agency will hold subsequent applications in a “queue,” in the event that additional program funds become available.” Read More.
Proactive Technologies, Inc. has assisted client-companies to successfully apply for, manage, document and receive reimbursement for almost $2,000,000 in projects in just the last 2 years alone! A substantial amount was reimbursed to the clients by the state to lessen their initial out-of-pocket investment on a project that can lead to maximized results! Click here for more information.