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Establishing a Training Academy

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In the current economic climate, the demands put upon a utility require education to be delivered faster, cheaper and more effectively to a fluid workplace and a mobile workforce. Learning effects must be measurable with a clear line of attribution to business performance. In order to be sustained, learning must be strategic as well as impacting the bottom line. This paper presents how utilities can implement an educational process. It is the choice of the organization to decide whether that process will be strategic or merely tactical. It provides a case study example of how a capital improvements management office maximized its education investment dollars as well as explains how this process could be implemented in other organizations. The education spectrum available to most utilities ranges from the provision of generic off-the-shelf type of training to the development of an internal university / training academy model. Experience shows that internal universities tend to improve relevance, establish a shared vocabulary, emphasize applicable experience learning, and most importantly, increase knowledge retention. A case study of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Capital Improvement Management Office (CIMO) illustrates how a training academy focused on core skills can be implemented. Improving the skills of individual employees enhances the capabilities of the organization as a whole. As the organizational profile of public utilities change rapidly in the coming years, greater attention will need to be placed on education and training in order to maintain operations and plan for the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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