Western Continuing Studies is Assessing Organizational Needs and Expanding Business Horizons

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As a diversified high-tech engineering firm, ZTR Control Systems needs to attract and retain the brightest and the best. A collaboration with Western University Continuing Studies is helping the London, Ontario and Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company do just that.

The company worked with the team at Western Continuing Studies to develop a customized Professional Certificate in Leadership program for current and future employees.

“Western offers a collaborative learning environment that encourages thought provoking discussions and learning experiences,” says Tracey Paddison, human resources manager, ZTR Control Systems. “Courses are facilitated by industry leaders and subject matter experts. After completing even one course, our leaders are able to immediately implement key takeaways for progressive change.”

“The leadership program is a way to support personal growth and professional training, and to keep employees engaged, productive, and happy,” says Alison Adair, communications manager with Western Continuing Studies.

It’s also part of a growing trend to offer opportunities for lifelong learning in the workplace.

“Companies like ZTR understand the value in investing in their employees,” she notes.

With more than 50 years of experience providing training to businesses and organizations, Western Continuing Studies is well-positioned to deliver customized learning programs that meet each organization’s unique educational needs.

“We begin with a needs assessment,” explains Christine Wilton, program manager, professional, corporate and personal development at Western Continuing Studies. “We try to understand the organization’s challenges, the culture, and what they is provided in terms of training and development in the past.”

Popular areas of learning include Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Management, Project Management, and Communications.

The best part? Employees register online through Western’s co-branded corporate portal and don’t need to spend years in the classroom to achieve tangible results.

Corporate professional development courses can be delivered online, at Western, or in the workplace, and can be structured as half-day sessions, one or two-day workshops, or as a 12-week program.

“People are often surprised at how flexible we can be,” Wilton says. “But with our large pool of instructors – both internally and through Western University as a whole – we can meet almost any request for training.”

The ability to deliver practical skills in an accessible learning environment has always been an important part of Western Continuing Studies.

In addition to corporate learning, the department has a long history of offering a host of post-diploma programs and professional certificates in areas such as Management, Health Sciences, Communications and Technology, as well as numerous personal enrichment courses in Languages, Humanities, Art Appreciation and Creative Writing.

The department also oversees Canada’s oldest French Immersion Program.

Celebrating its 85th anniversary this summer, the Trois-Pistoles French Immersion School in Trois-Pistoles provides a unique opportunity for individuals to improve their language skills while experiencing the culture and natural beauty of Quebec.

The wide range of learning opportunities on offer is one reason why more than 2,000 unique adult learners enroll at Western Continuing Studies each year, says Adair. Some come to keep current in their existing field, while others want to learn new skills in anticipation of a career change.

With its centrally-located downtown campus, and with many courses offered in the evening, over lunch, or online, Western Continuing Studies makes it easy for people to expand their horizons while still holding down a full-time job.

“The world of work is changing so rapidly,” Wilton notes. “Whether you are an individual or an organization, lifelong learning is now essential for success.”