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Even in Tough Times, Workforce Development Can Boost Productivity

KNOXVILLE -- "When economic times are tough, companies can gain a competitive edge through workforce development," says George Cooper of Development Concepts, a Knoxville based company that offers organizational development services.

"Performance of maintenance employees and other skilled groups are largely overlooked as a source of bottom-line improvement. Maintenance employees affect everything from operational productivity to uptime to overtime. Bringing your maintenance performance up to world-class standards is a cost-effective way to improve profitability during tough times."

How does a maintenance workforce reach world-class performance?

"The short answer is to objectively test your employees to see what their skills are, then provide specific training to fill in skill gaps," stated Cooper. "It also helps to test new hires to understand how to integrate them into your workforce development plan."

Development Concepts develops tests used for training needs analysis and pre-employment qualification as well as customized training curricula.

"World-class performance comes down to fundamentals," comments Cooper, whose company has provided technical workforce and organizational development services for fifteen years to clients across the country, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. "Whether it is troubleshooting, completing routine tasks, or catching small problems before they become big problems, maintenance employees who have a solid understanding of mechanical and electrical fundamentals are simply more capable."

Finding ways to provide cost-effective, targeted training to a maintenance workforce has been an obstacle many companies couldn't get around.

"Typical classroom training can be expensive and inefficient because everyone's needs are different," said Cooper. "Development Concepts emphasizes client-specific content to relate fundamentals to real-world work, focuses on troubleshooting, and designs services to allow for individualized instructional support."

One key advantage of workforce development during economic hard times is the gains made become even more beneficial when business conditions improve.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving when business volume increases," notes Cooper.

If you want bottom-line improvement, workforce development can increase productivity and profitability, and tough economic times are a good time to pursue them.

For more information on Development Concepts visit

Published February 17, 2011

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