Videos to promote workforce training


Have you ever said or heard the old statement, “Without experience I can’t get a job, but without a job I can’t get experience”? Well, once you get a job, you may still need more training experience.

The need for partnerships between colleges, universities, business, labor and government and how to establish these partnerships is the focus of two interactive video conferences on workforce education.

NIU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Springfield-based firm Think Worx and Associates are cosponsoring the conferences.

An official news release about the conferences stated 75 percent of the current workforce will require retraining by the year 2000. The concept of on-the-job training is being rethought by businesses because of technological advances and job requirement changes. Businesses are now looking for higher education to provide training needs.

Each interactive live satellite broadcast gives participants an opportunity to have their questions, which may be faxed or phoned in, answered by the panel originating the discussions.

The first video conference, entitled “New Opportunities in Workforce Education” will be broadcast in the Holmes Student Center’s Capitol Room from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 17. The purpose of the conference, according to Dr. David Loebach of Think Worx, is to create an awareness of the need for strong partnerships between enterprises, schools, workers and public policies.

“Schools have a responsibility to provide not only the skills and understanding of how to perform the job but also a theoretical framework so the worker can become a lifelong learner able to adjust flexibly to the workplace’s needs for education and training,” Loebach said.

Loebach went on to say employers under-invest in training because of turnovers in employment, and employees find it hard to finance their own training. Steve Johnson, External Programming of the College of LA&S, said a major advantage to employers would be served by these partnerships, as educators would go directly into the workplace to train workers.

The registration fee to attend the conference is $25 for students and $45 for the general public. Loebach said those interested in workforce policy changes will get something out of the conference.

The second video conference, Model Partnerships for Workforce Education, will give models of workforce training programs and have the same format. It will take place next year on March 3.