Atwater Village - - Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner recognized the Baxter Leadership Academy Training Program today, citing it as "a model workforce development partnership." Created and conducted by Los Angeles Valley College's Job Training, the seven- week curriculum was designed to upgrade the skill sets of over 80 incumbent workers of Baxter International.
The program came about when Baxter, faced with several months of layoffs due to a temporary plant closure, elected to invest in their employment staff by upgrading employees' skills rather than subjecting their employees to a two month layoff. Partnering with Job Training, the two collaborated in the design and implementation of the training curriculum.
Eighty employees participated in the program which consisted of a customized set of classes that included financial literacy, leadership skills, workplace communication, and diversity. Additionally, the group was scheduled for community volunteerism, giving their time to agencies such as Tree People (planting 200 trees), the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank (1,200 hours of assistance), and MEND, a local volunteer agency that provides numerous services to those transitioning out of poverty (giving 168 volunteer hours resulting in clothing 150 families).
The Leadership Academy is a customized training program designed by Job Training and funded by the California Employment Training Panel. Classes were taught at Community Career Development's Van de Kamp site.
Numerous guests attended the culmination ceremony including Tim Flynn, senior staffing representative for Baxter; Gloria Moore, executive director of Community Career Development, Inc.; and Sue Carleo, president of Los Angeles Valley College.
Prior to the ceremony, graduates reflecting on their experience offered comments such as, "The program taught me about teamwork, even among the different shifts;" "I improved and enhanced my leadership skills;" and "The volunteerism reminded me how lucky I am to have a job."
Following the success of this program, another series of classes is being scheduled for the near future.
The 2010 Baxter Graduating Class