With there being more than 20 million U.S. military veterans and more on the way as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, turned to PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC, to develop a program to transition veterans back into civilian life.
The unemployment rate for veterans without a college degree is three times higher than for those with a degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s why the VA sought help to develop a two-year program for the VA Acquisitions Academy called the Acquisition Intern Program.
The intern program uses a six-step approach to learning: formal lectures, leadership courses, skill-building workshops, mission services and individual development opportunities, on-the-job training and peak performance training. The academy also created the Warriors to Work program, which deals with wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
Learning takes place in a scenario-driven environment. Participants are allowed to make choices without fear of failure, but when mistakes occur, PwC instructors provide feedback to help students succeed.
A majority of participants will receive a bachelor’s degree within a year of completing the program.
According to PwC, the instructors’ score for overall effectiveness of curriculum delivery is 4.6 out of 5 and the overall effectiveness of the curriculum components is 4.57.
One participating VA organization said about the program: “This is the best intern program I have seen throughout my career with [the U.S. Defense Department] and VA. The interns are top-notch and you all do a superb job of grooming them.”
Silver: GP Strategies Corp.
How does one create a global training program that tackles a problem where communication is cumbersome? Manufacturing company GE Industrial Solutions tasked GP Strategies Corp. with conquering this problem during a multiyear, multinational implementation of SAP software.
The pilot began in December of 2012 in China and will eventually spread to 215 locations. It will affect 5,000 end users who speak numerous languages. To allay the need to use translation services that could take weeks, GP Strategies employs Ancile uPerform content management software to manage the workflow. Local talent is also brought in to help translate and train rather than have documents farmed out.
In the China pilot, users were able to perform key tasks the first day the new system was implemented. In the meantime, a global training team monitors help desk tickets to detect opportunities for improvement.
This year, go-live sites included Australia, Chile, Singapore and Venezuela, with more planned for 2014 throughout Europe and North America.
When Ricoh Co. bought Ikon Office Solutions a few years ago, it created a complex problem: How to turn a product-driven company into a software-driven one while establishing one leadership program for the combined company.
Ricoh turned to Skillsoft to help establish a leadership development program focused on three levels of employees: emerging leaders, experienced leaders and leaders of leaders.
Since each training track only takes two hours to complete, it fit with Ricoh’s goal to incorporate learning into busy schedules.
According to survey results, 94 percent of participants said they came away with actionable ideas to implement, and 86 percent said they would be able to apply the information learned to daily job functions.