4 Tools for Employee (& Employer) Success

Increase Profits Through Workforce Education Program

GED Preparation, Customer Service, English as a Second Language, and Basic Education – these are just a few of the programs offered to our local workforce through the IU13 Workforce Education program. 

For more than 15 years, IU13 has been offering Central PA’s employers cost-effective, customized, on-site education and training programs for workers. According to a report by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, “more than 40% of the U.S. workforce does not have the basic skills to do their job.”

“Naturally, that percentage varies by geographical area and industry,” commented Tim Shenk, Program Director for IU13’s Community Education program, “but there is a real need for educational services for adults be it for somebody who migrated to the area from another country, dropped out of high school at an early age, or just needs a ‘refresher’ course on basic skills. This team is here to support the community and local businesses. And we know it’s making a difference.”

To support this fact, the same report from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education states that “employers overwhelmingly report increased profits and other bottom-line benefits when their employees gain basic skills that enable them to work more effectively.”

This has been a driving factor for IU13 which has helped customers such as Auntie Anne’s, RR Donnelley, High Concrete, Rosenberger North America, Ames Reese, BC Natural Chicken, Cescaphe, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Country Meadows, Dutch Valley, Meridian Products, and Patterson Dental to name a few.

The IU13 Workforce Education program gives local businesses the ability to offer their employees high-quality, on-site educational services, for topics such as: English language, math, reading, writing, and communication skills. Classes and tutoring can be scheduled before, during, or after shifts to best suit the needs of the business. And course materials and content are customized to meet the needs of the employer and employees.

IU13 Workforce Education Offerings Include:

1 - English Language Instruction

Currently, the most popular class being taught through the program is English Language instruction. “Communicating in the workplace can be a real challenge when employees’ English skills are limited,” stated Shenk. Language barriers impact production, safety, and teamwork. “Our instructors customize lessons to ensure that employees build the language skills they need to succeed on the job. They are there to support the needs of the student, however best possible.” In fact, classes and workshops are also offered in Spanish, foundation skills (basic reading, writing, and math), GED prep, and customer service.

2 - Training on Day One

In many cases, we are able to create customized training materials for businesses to use with new employees. These manuals contain vocabulary and pictures that are unique to that particular business and help non-native English speakers better understand their specific working environment. This is not only helpful for the safety and productivity of the employee, but welcomes new employees with compassion.

3 - Training Before – During – After Work

On-site instruction for students is a plus! “We’ve found that employers who offer trainings before, during, or immediately after work have higher attendance and success rates,” stated Shenk.  “On-site instruction, be it group classes or tutoring sessions, proves to be the most accommodating for the employees and staff.” Participants can also form study groups and camaraderie to encourage one another to complete the course.

4 - Customized Trainings and Materials

The Workforce Education program is fully customizable. The trainings, materials, and content are designed to meet the needs of the businesses and students. In cases where the employee base is largely Spanish speaking, IU13 will develop trainings and materials to help managers and others communicate more effectively with these employees. Common workplace language is emphasized, and participants are encouraged to bring specific communication issues to class. Click here to explore some of the Workforce Education Solutions that IU13 offers.

Benefits for Both Employer and Employees

The IU13 Workforce Education program is, without a doubt, a win-win solution for employers and employees. Employers benefit by increasing productivity, having better safety records, reducing error rates, and improving employee retention. The employees gain a greater sense of job satisfaction, increased loyalty to employer, and opportunities for advancement. 

Click here to read more about the IU13 Workforce Education program and available solutions. You can even complete an online needs analysis to see how your business (and employees) might benefit.