For the last 50 years, the Eastern PA Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development has been the official professional presence of training and workplace performance in the Lehigh Valley. This chapter was started by one of the then-eminent industrial presences here in “the valley” – Western Electric.
Today, many of the old industries that were the bedrock of the local economy are gone but not forgotten – Bethlehem Steel most notably among them. The legacy of “the steel” facility and the people who worked there lives on in new ways that contribute to the future of our community. And then there are other businesses that have grown to become the bedrock of today’s local economy such as Coca-Cola, Mack Truck and Lehigh Valley Health Network – to name just a few.
We have a very strong local educational network that remains the springboard into the future – Moravian, DeSales, LaSalle, Penn State, Kutztown, Lehigh, LCCC, NCC, Monroe Carbon County, East Stroudsburg, Muhlenberg – and the myriad other technical institutes, local universities and colleges that I don’t mean to insult by failure to mention them here. The point being there are so many educational institutions just in our Eastern PA chapter’s geography that they defy listing in this short blog entry.
What make business tick are the people. We know it, we say it, but how many local businesses really practice what we preach? We have an incredibly strong local educational foundation to assist our businesses and industry to stretch to meet the changes and challenges of the new century.
Again, it’s all about people. To value people, we don’t just hire and pay them. We need to invest in them to grow them personally and professionally, and not just because they become stronger members of our organizations which in turn make our organizations stronger. We invest in people because they make our community stronger, our families stronger and our future more secure.
It is with this broader vision in mind that we invite comment from members of the community as our local ASTD chapter reaches out to work with other local business, professional, manufacturing and industrial groups to be part of the people-building process.
What are the training needs of your organization? Where does training fit into your long-term plan? Your budgeting? Where do your current employees need growth? What are the main skills you desire in new hires?