Hometown: Holyoke, MA
Title: Comptroller, Holyoke Gas & Electric
Holyoke Gas & Electric Co., a municipally-owned utility formed in 1902 and now serving 18,000 customers, recently opted to make an investment in its employees by sending twenty first-line supervisory and managers to a series of professional development classes at HCC's Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development.
"We were looking for some kind of vehicle to extend training to management and first line supervisors who had people reporting to them. We found there were a lot of benefits to having a group of employees all from the same company. Although people comprehend things differently, we all had the same frame of reference."
In addition, HCC's proximity to HG&E, its affordability, and the professional-quality classes provided were a major draw, said Richards, who along with HG&E Chief Executive Officer Jim Lavelle knew firsthand about the American Management Association University Program. As for the return on their investment, Richards said the results are positive.
How has training helped your employees:
"The first thing I saw happening was the heightened enthusiasm among employees. And as (the training) evolved, we saw people putting things they learned into practice. Having the knowledge of new practices and new ideas has enabled employees to try managing differently."