Recession creates boom in Customized Business Services
Special to the Daily
While some businesses are struggling through the recession, Suzanne Hyman’s workload has soared.
“We do say that as the economy suffers, education prospers,” said Hyman, Dillon-based regional director of Colorado Mountain College’s Customized Business Services. CBS assists businesses across the college’s nine-county service area by providing client-specific solutions, from workshops to coaching sessions.
“Because of the economy, we are in a situation where our business is thriving,” said Hyman, who earned a master’s degree in business administration. “We are supporting employers of various sizes. The needs of the employer vary from working one-on-one in a consultative role or working with entire teams who are in need of developing specific skills.”
Beth Shaw, CBS executive director in Glenwood Springs, said throughout the college’s service area her department doubled both the number of trainings and the number of people served in 2009 compared to 2008.
As the “customized” moniker denotes, the program offers training requested by business owners and organizations. Depending on client needs, the training aimed at improving business performance may include management and supervisory skills, office organizational skills, computer skills, CPR, Spanish, worker safety, social media, customer service, conflict resolution, understanding personality types or effective communication.
For example, participants learned about both healthy cuisine and team building during a recent training at the new learning kitchen at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. The students worked in three teams to prepare different types of healthy dishes, and then enjoyed the meal as a group.
The cuisine training was part of a worksite wellness program for Summit County Government employees funded through a grant from Summit Prevention Alliance, explained Tina Allen, county human resources specialist. She said healthy employees reduce absenteeism at work.
“I think offering these types of classes for our employees lets them know that they are valued,” Allen said. “Every employee who has participated has really appreciated the opportunity.”
Worker performance, increased effectiveness critical
Hyman said valuing and retaining employees has been a key focus at CBS during the recession.
“As employers are impacted by the current low consumer confidence, they often see a correlation with workplace insecurity, which impacts team camaraderie, performance and organizational loyalty,” she said.
Hiring, training and rehiring are costly and can be especially damaging to a business bottom line these days.
“When the economy is suffering, this is a time when employers are asking for help in making sure that when they do hire, they hire right,” Hyman said. “They also are coming to us to ask to improve the skills of their employees in order to make their operations more efficient. If a business runs more effectively, it can survive the recession.”
Hyman said CBS offers essential services to regional clients because the trainings provided by local consultants are more affordable than bringing in out-of-area trainers. The trainings can take place at a college location or on-site at a business, and participants can earn professional development credits on a community college transcript.
With a limit on resources, especially during the recession, HR specialist Allen agreed that the CBS trainings are a plus for cost and convenience.
“If CMC wasn’t here for us, I don’t know that we would have the opportunity to offer these trainings to our employees,” she said.
More information about CMC Customized Business Services is available at (970) 468-5989 x 2811.
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