Our ATD Eastern PA board is always looking for ways to build bridges into the community. This focus has made our marketing plans very important. With workforce development front-and-center for business and industrial growth in the Lehigh Valley, we are considering ways we can market our resources and contribute to our community’s ongoing success through volunteer service.
Recently, the board decided to offer free training as a prize to members at a future event. In the past, our chapter’s consultants offered free community training events for non-member small business owners as a service to those companies who may not think about – or have the budget for – organizational development and training that is common practice in larger firms. These events were well-attended and well-received.
This time, we are going to offer something a bit different. Several board members will donate their personal time and resources to provide a consultation for chapter member organizations. Members who attend an event will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for one of the defined services related to the event. To begin, several board members will offer consulting services on Train-the-Trainer at our TTT event as a kickoff to the member volunteer program. The board members who are kicking off the event are both independent consultants and trainers who are full-time employees of local corporations but they will all be donating their services as an ATD member.
In the future, after we test drive the program and work out the details, we will encourage all chapter members to donate their services to member organizations at other events through our volunteer raffle. Depending on participation, we may again extend volunteer services to non-member local businesses, as well. Other ATD chapters around the country have similar programs, some offering consulting services to local non-profits on an ongoing basis. Since this is a pilot program, we have the potential to extend it and evolve it if our members express ongoing interest and the community responds.
For now, individual board members will to share a specialty with other member organizations through our first Train-the-Trainer volunteer raffle.
The board wants to achieve several goals with this volunteer service program:
1. Offer more value to our members
2. Provide visibility for both our consultants and for the work being done by our corporate members
3. Cross-pollinate best practices among member organizations
4. Build bridges into the community for talent development and workforce training
5. Possibly extend the volunteer effort into small businesses and non-profits in the community
We invite your comments and suggestions below. Most of all, we invite your participation as we kickoff this volunteer service effort.