Business First - Friday, November 13, 2009
Special Report: Work-force readiness
Employers see benefit of MTTC’s customized training courses
When Ron Pottinger, CEO of Blendex Co., wanted his company managers and employees to find ways to be more efficient, he didn’t turn to an outside consultant to come in and revamp the way the company did business.
Instead, he had workers take part in training offered at the McConnell Technology & Training Center in Louisville related to supervision and “lean” management.
McConnell Technology & Training Center, which was established in 1993 under a contract with the U.S. Navy to help evaluate cost-saving technologies for defense contractors, has emerged into a full-fledged training organization. It is operated by nonprofit Innovative Productivity Inc.
Among the center’s primary offerings are executive coaching classes to give leaders the skills they need to overcome organizational obstacles and improve performance. Since its inception, the center has provided management and leadership training to more than 600 companies.
For Blendex, which blends dry food ingredients, that meant sending dozens of executives and supervisors to training from August 2007 to February of last year.
The workers participated in 12 different courses — with titles such as “Line Supervisor Training Needs,” “Executive Planning and Streamline Analysis,” “Stress and Anger Management,” “Organizational Transition” and “Leadership Best Practices.”
At least five to eight employees attended each course.
With the assistance of MTTC, Blendex received a grant from Bluegrass State Skills Corp. to help pay for the training, Pottinger said, adding that he was impressed with the positive results, which led him to request more training.
“MTTC helped us concentrate on ways to cut out time wasters,” Pottinger said. “They offered a common sense way of producing items. For some of the courses, MTTC came to our facility to teach the classes, which was helpful for our employees. The courses were very helpful. They were able to give our middle-management people training and insights not available on the job.”
Tailored approach worked better
One of the benefits of working with MTTC, Pottinger said, was that the training the company offered fit with the company culture.
Previously, Blendex employees had taken courses offered by another company, but the training was geared more toward “just getting the product out quickly,” he said.
“Our products are expensive, and this method did not work well for us,” Pottinger added. “Our employees observed that the training company advocated doing things that went against the Blendex philosophy. … MTTC analyzed what Blendex is about and tailored the course to fit our specific needs.”
The result, Pottinger said, has been a marked improvement in morale among the company’s 60 employees.