by Jacqueline A. Paquet
Employees of ArcelorMittal, a global steel company with several plants in the Philadelphia area, recently received LEED accreditation for demonstrating a keen understanding of green building practices. Employees gained the requisite knowledge by enrolling in an environmental training program called ‘Green Building Technology: Concepts and Strategies’ at the Center for Workforce Development (CWD) at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).
“This custom program provided ArcelorMittal employees with the skills and credentials needed to apply green technologies in the workplace and at home,” said Dr. Brook Hunt, Director of the Center for Workforce Development. “Participants help improve the environment, the company and the entire community through their green knowledge.”
Continued education and ongoing skills development have always been crucial to staying relevant and advancing one’s career but have become especially important in this uncertain economy. CWD’s custom-designed courses keep the local workforce knowledgeable and relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Although some companies have cut back on their investment in employee education and professional development in order to reduce costs, some like ArcelorMittal see the long-term value in enrolling their employees in workshops such as those offered by CWD.
Many companies qualify for grant money which helps subsidize the cost of training their employees in emerging technologies. Since 2002, CWD has obtained over $10 million in state funding for 370 area companies. ArcelorMittal received a $4.6 million Energy Training Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to use towards the continued education of their workforce.
“Green technology is the wave of the future,” said Steve Miller, an ArcelorMittal crane operator who completed the training. “The program explained the impact green technology has not only at work but at home too. I have learned techniques to conserve energy and save money for the company and for myself.”
Green technology isn’t the only sector in which the Center offers training. While CWD competes with several major workforce training centers in the area, including Springhouse and Full Circle Computing, MCCC differentiates itself through the breadth of topics it covers. While its competitors focus mainly on training in desktop applications and project management , CWD designs custom workshops from 10 diverse platforms including Leadership/Management Development, Engineering & Design, Quality Improvement, Sales Training & Customer Service, and Safety & Compliance.
CWD has trained professionals from a wide range of industries. In addition to ArcelorMittal, participating companies have included Lockheed Martin, Mercy Suburban Hospital, BAE Systems and GSI Commerce.
The location and timing of training through CWD is also flexible and tailored to meet business’ unique needs. Corporate training practitioners, consultants, and MCCC faculty deliver the educational modules either at the company’s offices or at one of the College’s two locations in Blue Bell and Pottstown.