Bethel Launches Center for Customized Training

Bethel College CampusBethel College announces the launch of its center for customized training, an initiative made possible by Lilly Grant funding received in November 2013. The center’s first partnership is with the Kroc Center in South Bend, Ind., where Bethel staff is providing weekly management training to directors, managers and officers.

Future partnerships will provide similar training for other local companies and organizations. According to Director of Customized Training James Lovaas, two additional programs are currently in development. The first is a 25-week workforce readiness program designed for the unemployed/underemployed that could be offered through churches and other organizations. The second is a work ethic course designed to address topics such as workplace attitude, attendance and appearance, which would be offered through local companies for their employees.

“Local employers have expressed a need for this type of soft-skill training,” says Lovaas. “Employees aren’t always as prepared as what employers would like them to be when it comes to workplace expectations. This training addresses those needs and will prepare employees for career success,” he says.

Lovaas is in talks with employers throughout St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties to discuss additional ways the center can strengthen Michiana’s workforce. “Companies are looking for more opportunities to provide professional development because it supports employee retention. People feel valued when their employer invests time and energy into training them — it builds organizational commitment,” says Lovaas.

Another goal for the center is to provide continuing education units (CEUs) for local professionals. “Many people in the area need continuing education to earn or maintain certifications, and they are currently going outside of our community to get it,” says Lovaas. The center hopes to capitalize on the existing resources at Bethel and is developing online and on-campus opportunities for professionals to earn CEUs.

For more information and to discuss potential partnerships, contact James Lovaas, director of customized training, <a " href="mailto:James.Lovaas@BethelCollege.edu">James.Lovaas@BethelCollege.edu or 574.807.7056.