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ABC Training Center opens doors

ABC Training Center opens doors

By Matt McClone

Feb. 6, 2002

Matt McClone
Marketing Coordinator
ABC of Wisconsin

After much anticipation and even more support from Associated Builders and Contractors members, the ABC Training Center opened its doors for use on Jan. 15. In the first week of operation, the center hosted more than 150 people participating in a wide variety of programs.

"This new addition to the new ABC headquarters offers four different training rooms complete with all the essentials of a training facility, including a few bells and whistles," said Wayne Belanger, ABC director of education. "We already have one of the rooms set up with several computers that can access the Internet. We feel this is especially important as more and more apprentices start using our E-Reports system of online work reports. Apprentices can now visit our training center and learn firsthand how to log work hours more efficiently online."

The ABC Training Center is also designed to be extremely flexible. The space can be combined to create two large rooms or four smaller ones depending on the needs of the actual class or presentation. The configuration of the room can also be changed to handle a large classroom-style audience or a smaller roundtable discussion.

"The new Training Center is not only a testament to the ABC members who helped make it happen, but it also emphasizes the importance of continuing education in the construction industry," added Belanger. "We are extremely excited to add another venue to our arsenal when it comes to offering training seminars and workshops for ABC members."

Training tips

Training is an essential tool for construction companies. Below are some tips to help make training in your company more successful. These tips were gathered from observing and having discussions with contractors who have successfully trained apprentices and skilled workers. They can be used for apprentices or for anyone who is enrolled in training.

  • Foster a learning-friendly work environment

    A learning-friendly company starts at the top. If the top people in your company believe in the power of training, then everyone else will. It has been proven that training can improve efficiency, lower costs and improve safety. If you believe it, then so will everyone else in your company.

  • Maintain a positive attitude

    In addition to believing in what training can do, your attitude toward the training process can be one of the most important factors in determining the success of training. If training is something that is just tolerated within your organization, it is likely that the failure rate will be higher. On the other hand, if there is a genuine excitement, your employees will be far more likely to succeed.

  • Show an active interest in the training

    One way to show a positive attitude is to take an active interest in the training your employees are participating in. Sometimes it is as simple as asking an apprentice or training participant what was the most interesting topic the class discussed the last time it met. If the teacher offers an employer open house, make sure that you attend.


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    Another way to show an active interest is to ask your apprentice or training participant to give you a copy of the course syllabus or an outline of the course. Make sure that you do this in a positive upbeat way. The purpose is to get a feel for the course material that will be covered.

  • Brin
    g training into the field

    Once you know what the course will cover, share it with your skilled workers and supervisors in the field. If they are part of the training process, then the chances for success become much higher. Skills learned in the classroom can be practiced in the field, but only if your skilled workers know what the classroom skills are.

  • Attend graduation banquets and trade competitions

    More companies are sending their skilled workers and sometimes their entire work force to graduation banquets and to watch their apprentices compete in trade competitions. This is an excellent way to show interest, and it is typically fun for everyone who participates. Completing a training program is a very big deal, and it is important that the accomplishment is recognized.

The training seminars that ABC offers ranges from Jobsite Safety and Increased Productivity to Leadership Development and Labor Law. For more information on ABC training programs, contact the ABC at 608-244-5883 or visit the ABC Wisconsin Chapter Web site.

Matt McClone is the marketing coordinator for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin.

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