By MURRAY BISHOFF
An unusual opportunity to boost the skills of area business employees is presently being offered at the Southwest Area Career Center at Monett. The Alliance for Business is offering a Basic Supervisory Academy, a 32-hour weekly training program in a wide range of areas.
According to Michelle Nichols, administrative assistant for Crowder College, the academy is made possible for a seven-county area in southwest Missouri, including Barry and Lawrence counties, through funding from the Workforce Investment Grant.
Instruction is available during the session in eight different modules. These include interpersonal relationships, fundamental responsibilities of supervisors, effective coaching, best practices for perfomance management, conflict resolution, problem solving and employee engagement. Two main teachers provide four hours of instruction in each area. Testing will be done before and after each module.
Nichols said classes of this type would normally cost $100 to $150 per person. With the grant, the entire academy with all the classes costs $25.
The first local session had 30 signed up. The second session that began this month had double that number. A third session will begin on April 6 and run through June. Nichols said the third session will begin on Mondays and may expand to Monday and Tuesday sessions in May for greater scheduling flexibility.
"We've had very positive feedback. Everyone is wanting more of it," Nichols said. "A lot of companies could not afford this kind of training otherwise."
Instruction is geared for both present and future supervisors. The goal is to have at least 20 people signed up for each class. Classes in Joplin filled up quickly. A concentrated effort is being made to fill classes in Monett.
Nichols added if there is enough interest, a session can be scheduled at Crowder's facility in Cassville.
Inquiries can be directed to Nichols at 417/455-5713. She encouraged people to e-mail questions to her at email@example.com, which she can then answer in writing.
The program is a cooperative effort between Crowder College, Missouri Southern State University, the Missouri Career Center, and the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri.