NECC Recruiting for Free Supervisory Skills Program
Nick Richard of Derry, NH, started working in the warehouse at All Brand New England of Lawrence 11 years ago when he was just 17 years old. He’s done well with the company, which distributes food, janitorial, cleaning, and office supplies, and is now operations supervisor, managing 16 employees.
While Richard has lots of hands-on experience, he never had a formal education in business. That’s why his boss, recognizing his leadership potential, recommended that he sign up for Northern Essex Community College’s “The Art and Practice of Effective Supervision”, a 10-course, 40-hour noncredit training program that is being offered free to local companies that qualify for the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund grant.
Richard—along with nine other supervisors from four local companies— completed his training this week and he said it’s been “very helpful.” “A lot of this I knew deep down, but I needed someone to pull it out of me. I’ve enjoyed talking with others about issues they have in their own companies.”
Other local companies participating include Microsemi of Lawrence, Cox Engineering/Cambridgeport Air Systems of Salisbury, and Our Neighbors’ Table of Amesbury.
Last year, the Lawrence Partnership, a private-public sector consortium focused on economic development and improving the quality of life in Lawrence, conducted a survey to determine where there were local “skills gaps.” The survey was completed by 94 local employers with 50 or more employees, and many company leaders expressed concerns over lost productivity and competitiveness because of the lack of supervisory and management skills among their current workers.
Leadership was identified as the number one soft skills challenge while middle management was also shown to be an area of need, according to the survey. As one company leader wrote, “We cannot grow our business without great staffing.”
Based on the results of the survey, Northern Essex Community College applied for and received a $120,750 Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Direct Access Training Grant to create a supervisor/management skills training program.
Richard was in the first class and the college is now recruiting for five additional programs, which will be held through June of 2018.
The series is taught by Joe Ryan, a Northern Essex graduate who went on to receive a bachelor’s from Amherst College and a master’s from Lesley University. A corporate trainer and college professor, Ryan says business success has everything to do with competent, respectful, and empathetic leadership. “When employees feel valued and respected, their engagement and performance will grow and everyone benefits.”
The training program focuses on the elements common to the job of a supervisor including effective supervisory skills, understanding behavioral styles, managing employee performance, training and development, situational leadership, managing conflict, effective communication, engaging employees, and preventing harassment and discrimination.
With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, 8,500 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu