In 1984, ESF began offering its series of ProTrainer Workshops and Materials through General Motors Education & Training (GM E&T) Division. The ProTrainer series became so successful in many of its plants that when in the late 1990's GM E&T was dissolved by GM Corporate, UAW/GM took over training ESF's courses.
GM E&T and UAW/GM contracted with ESF for the following ProTrainer Courses:
UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, Detroit, MI
ESF's ProTrainer Training: Lifeblood of New ABC Concept UAW Contract
If the restructuring of production and skilled trade classifications is the heart of the newly ratified contract, then training is the contract's lifeblood. Financed with $4 million from New York State, $5 million from the Rochester Operations budget, and money from GM-UAW Nickel Fund, training will carry the life of the contract to those who must enact it.
Training Provides Flexibility
"We must increase our flexibility, to utilize people's time more efficiently," Edwards adds. "Employees must be capable of doing more than one job. Training will give us the flexibility."
Holler and Paxton found what they believe is the right direction: competency-based training. "Training is the cornerstone of the ABC Concept," said Holler, "and competency-based learning is the cornerstone for our industrial training."
"Our competency-based system survives because we teach people how to teach others," said Peter Esseff, "Once you have the teachers/trainers, you can keep yourselves and your training modules updated. You can create new competency-based material."
Joint Effort Creating Training Modules
The trainers usually paired, one salaried and one hourly employee per area, work full time creating job specific modules. Using illustrations and conversational English, the booklets break down job sequences into bite-size instructions. Through step, by detailed step, the modules show how to inspect, set-up, run or use equipment, machinery, or programs.
The whole process of creating the learning modules is far from complete. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours remain honing the modules and the programs.
Samples of Competency-based
Worker In Skills Lab Section of Competency-based Training
When asked how the training program affects hourly promotions, Holler responded "Competency-based training doesn't alter our 63-A (promotion) language," Holler said. "The language basically reads, 'When merit ability, and capacity are equal, seniority will prevail.' Now, we are going to let our competency program help us determine merit, ability and capacity. We will no longer be solely dependent on seniority."
Certification Provided by ESF's Competency-Based Process
To earn GM certification as trainer/developer, the employees attended 80 hours of instruction, and had to pass their own version of competency based training: the first module each trainer writes has to be specially validated by an outside consultant, Dr. Peter Esseff. Drs. Peter and Mary Esseff introduced the competency-based process to Rochester Operations in 1984.
Training Is a Major Strategic Advantage
"Our training is one of our major strategic advantages over our competition," said Mike Chapman, plant manager, to the graduation class of trainer/developers. In the next five years you will see just as much change as in the past five years, and training will help us keep up."