SOMERSET, Ky — Through a new partnership with Somerset Community College (SCC), the Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority (SPEDA) is reviving an employer-led association that provides high-quality, inexpensive training to its members.
The Lake Cumberland Regional Training Consortium (LCRTC) offers a variety of courses in leadership, team building, customer service, information technology, and safety, helping employees of member businesses improve their skills and offering networking opportunities for those companies that choose to join. Becoming a member also provides employers with 50 points toward their Bluegrass State Skills Grant application, which offers reimbursements for worker training at Kentucky’s new and expanding companies and for skills and occupational upgrade training for workers of Kentucky’s existing companies.
“The education we provide, the skills we teach, and the way we treat those who choose to open their doors here are crucial in retaining and recruiting employees and businesses,” SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said. “SPEDA is involved in every turn at making sure processes are in place to grow a strong workforce, and training is a crucial part of that. SPEDA CAO Jessica Carlton has overseen the creation of the consortium and will lead the initiative for our organization. We want our employers, and their employees, to feel they have the training resources they need to be successful.”
Membership to the consortium is $100 per year for an organization, and any employee of that organization is eligible to participate in training sessions. The typical cost per participant for each class is between $25 to $40, depending upon the materials required for the course.
Members of the consortium will complete a training list survey annually, the results of which determine the top 12 training classes that will be presented to the membership for approval. Once approved, those 12 classes — one class per month — will be offered for the upcoming year. Topics range from correcting performance problems, generational communications, workplace professionalism, business writing skills, and dealing with difficult customers, to how to use Microsoft Word and Photoshop 7 and how to perform CPR.
Class sizes will be limited to 20 to 25 participants, and there is a five participant minimum for each class to be offered. A company can typically register up to five participants, but after the deadline has passed and if additional seats are still available, then a company can request and pay to send additional participants. Classes are offered at the Somerset Community College main campus. However, if a situation arises where there is only one company that has signed up for a class and they meet the minimum number of participants (five), then the class can be held at that company.
That the consortium is employer-led and employers have the opportunity to choose training topics is what makes this consortium unique, said Alesa Johnson, SCC’s vice president for workforce solutions.
“Somerset Community College is proud to partner with SPEDA and our regional employers to build a highly-skilled workforce,” Johnson said. “This training consortium is a great opportunity for all employers, regardless of size, to get the quality skills training their employees to need at a very reasonable price.”
Lorrie West, HR complex manager for Cobb-Vantress Inc., said the consortium has been a great resource in the past for her company.
“The Lake Cumberland Regional Training Consortium has proven to be invaluable to Cobb-Vantress over the past years in assisting our company with a variety of training needs for our front line supervisors, hourly team members, and managers,” West said. “The classes offered are professional and economical.”
To join or for more information, contact Jessica Carlton at SPEDA by calling (606) 425-5409.
The consortium membership meets monthly, and the next meeting will be 9 a.m. Oct. 22. Board officers will be elected and the 12-course training schedule for 2020-21 will be presented for approval.