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1/31/2017 11:30 AM
56249

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

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1
2/1/2017 11:30 AM
55872

Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m. | Dr. Gumbs shares her experience as a survivor of sexual violence

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2
2/2/2017 11:30 AM
55875

Speaker Series: Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Thursday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. | Experience a multimedia poetic presentation about police brutality

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34
2/4/2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
63741

Free Legal Assistance Clinic

Need help with a legal issue? Attend our free legal assistance clinic, offered by the FVTC Paralegal Student Organization. Saturday, Feb. 4, 9 a.m.-Noon

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568
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2/10/2017 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM
58596

Junior Achievement 8th Grade Technical Careers Challenge

A real-world experience that allows teams of middle school students to work with a business person to compete against one another as they manufacture or provide a service. 

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11
2/11/2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
53651

Cooking Demo: Asian Cuisine: Bamboo Steamer to Mouth-Watering Wok

Asian Cuisine: Bamboo Steamer to Mouth-Watering Wok | Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. - Noon

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2/24/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
53849

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

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2/26/2017 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
9290

Cultural Cuisine 2017

Join us Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 for cultural hors d'oeuvres prepared by our Culinary Arts students. 

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2/28/2017 11:30 AM
56249

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

Read more
2
3/2/2017 11:30 AM
56073

Speaker Series: Tony Bednarowski

Thursday, March 2, Appleton Campus | Learn how foods we consume have a profound effect on performance, body composition and overall blood chemistry as well as state of mind

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3/6/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
56904

On Campus: Marian University

Thinking of transferring to Marian University?

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8
3/8/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
67433

On Campus: Herzing University

Thinking of transferring to Herzing University?

Read more
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Business & Industry

Focus on Workplace Training

Focus on Workplace Training

Spring 2008

Mar 20, 2008

Beyond Basic Training

As Fox Valley Technical College’s relationship with the Miles Kimball Company illustrates, creativity and a joint problem-solving approach are key elements of a successful training program.

Corporate training is not all flip charts and trays of donuts—just ask Barbara Uecker, a quality and training team leader at the call center of the Miles Kimball Company, an Oshkosh-based specialty catalog retailer. Without question, conveying information is important, says Uecker, who trains up to 350 new employees each fall for the company’s rush season. She adds, however, that you can’t forget humor and finding ways for employees to learn through activities. Uecker expanded her training skills over the past year in part due to train-the-trainer courses offered at Miles Kimball through Fox Valley Technical College.

“During one training, we had a snowball fight,” Uecker recalls. “We took all the issues we were having with preparing for our new computer system, wrote them on pieces of paper, and threw them at each other. After that, we said, ‘OK, now we’re going to address all these issues.’”

In short, releasing steam helped the employees learn more later. While snowball fights aren’t always the norm, finding creative ways to improve work skills and reinforce a company’s goals and objectives is an approach that guides FVTC’s custom training programs. Each year the College conducts hundreds of training sessions for companies ranging in size from small, local businesses to multinational organizations such as DuPont and IBM.

The relationship with Miles Kimball is long-standing and deep. “Miles Kimball has been a great friend to the college,” says Mary Frozena, FVTC’s associate director of business and industry services. Frozena notes that during 2007-08, more than 400 Miles Kimball employees will have received training through FVTC, in classes ranging from leadership skills to computing skills to courses on continuous process improvement and navigating change.


“Our programs align training with company needs,” she says. “Employees can use new or enhanced skills in their current jobs and down the line.”

The courses help Miles Kimball and its employees stay up to date on business processes, says Margie Harvey, the company’s vice president of human resources. “The entire leadership of Miles Kimball has a firm belief that life-long learning is a competitive advantage for us,” she notes. “FVTC works with so many different businesses that it helps us benchmark our performance and find best practices in other organizations.”

Sandy Szesterniak, a warehouse team leader at Miles Kimball, agrees. “Having a third party come in pulls the group together and provides a different perspective,” says Szesterniak, whose 15-person department handles returns and repacking of the 23,000 different Miles Kimball products. She has also taken several FVTC courses related to lean operations and improvement, a process designed to increase capacity, eliminate waste, shorten lead times, and improve quality.

Sandra Cortez, a quality assurance specialist in the Miles Kimball call center, has used the training sessions to build skills that have helped advance her career. She started at Miles Kimball five years ago as a call center representative, and recently has served as a backup trainer. “The advanced train-the-trainer course was a big eye-opener,” says Cortez. “It helped put me at ease when I have to step into the role of trainer.”

Because Miles Kimball’s workforce doubles each fall from about 700 workers to 1,500, workforce training is a “well-oiled machine around here,” says Harvey.

In addition to working with FVTC on training, Miles Kimball has partnered with the College to improve employment skills throughout northeastern Wisconsin. This spring, FVTC launched a contact center certificate program to train workers for that industry. Miles Kimball employees and executives also have shared their expertise with FVTC students through classroom speaking engagements and career fairs.

To learn how FVTC's Business & Industry Services can help your business work, call 920-735-2525.