Archive for August, 2012

Florida Economy – Are You Aware of the Florida High Tech Corridor?

August 26, 2012

When you say “Central Florida” to many people – even people that live in Florida – they think of theme parks, beaches, and Kennedy Space Center. They might even think of the University of Central Florida (UCF). What they are not thinking of is the fact that this area is a high tech hub in the US.

When you say “research and technology” most people think Silicon Valley, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, or Dallas. You need to add Orlando and Central Florida to that list.

The area that spans Florida – from just north of Daytona Beach to the area around Sarasota, with Orlando in the middle – is coined the Florida High Tech Corridor (FHTC). This covers 23 counties, within the Central Florida region. It has been in place since 1996.



CPLP – ASTD CPLP Fall Study Group

August 23, 2012

The South Florida Chapter of ASTD will be starting a 12 week virtual CPLP study group session beginning September 1st.

There is no fee to participate. Each session will begin at 9:00 am (EST) and end at 11:00 am.

  • For CPLP aspirants
  • For ASTD Members desiring more knowledge
  • For WLP professionals looking to sharpen their skills
  • This study group is open to all National or local chapter members of ASTD

Check out their web site to learn more and register for this event.

I will be there, so I hope to see you in the group!


Recorded Web Sessions – Treasure Trove of Recorded L&D Presentations

August 17, 2012

If you have not attended a Training Magazine web-based presentation, you could be missing out on a lot of really good information. The best part – the price is right…FREE!

I attend them when I can, but I also know they record all their events. So, I can go back and catch the ones I missed whenever I have some free time. Another situation that occurs is that at the time they run it, the topic may not be relevant to my needs. But, as we all know, needs change.

Today, I had desire to learn a little about the process of developing an overall learning strategy for a training department. I was curious to see if they had anything for my need. I found about three or four that addressed topics around what I was looking for. I even created a list of about 10-15 that may be of benefit for later viewing.

Check it out. You may be surprised at what you find.

Let us know if you find any that are of value to you.

Career – Re-skilling

August 11, 2012

Where did the manufacturing and service jobs go? India, China, and other low cost-of-living countries. We are starting to see a trend in these jobs coming back to the US. However, there is a disconnect. Our workforce is not skilled the way it was before these jobs left.

Companies like Caterpiller, Dow Chemical, BMW, and Whirlpool are bringing their manufacturing back to the US. This is due to lower labor costs, higher product quality, ease of doing business, and proximity to customers.

This trend has created a renaissance in “re-skilling”. There is a growing increase in basic skill development here in the US.

Did you know that in 2011, corporate training budgets actually jumped 9.5%? That’s the largest annual growth in a decade.

Part of the problem the US economy is having is not specifically a lack of jobs. It is a lack of skilled employees for the jobs that are available. 58% of employers cited this as one of the top three reasons for not filling a key position. This is one of the top risks that businesses face today.

Why is there a huge skill gap? What happened? Three things created a perfect storm:

  1.  In general, the workforce is younger – more than 50% are in their mid 30’s or younger. That leads to less years of experience, thus lower experience levels in the available workforce.
  2. Continued high unemployment has started killing existing skills. People lose their “edge” when they are not using their existing skills for more than a year.
  3. Our university and public school systems have focused on teaching to the test. Our student base is losing communication skills, project management skills, and teamwork skills. They sport good grades, but companies need to develop the skill sets they need in their employees.

Another issue is that during the economic downturn, training groups have been cut deeply. Overall training budgets were cut drastically. This de-investment is now showing itself.

Welcome to the golden era for training and development! Companies are starting up corporate universities that focus on re-investing in the skills of their employees. We are seeing leadership and culture programs taking hold. We are also seeing virtual delivery of content rather than in-person training, as well as blending of formal and on-the job experience. This is creating efficiencies in the workforce, and enhancing bottom lines.

Expect to see the US take a new lead in the world economy over the next few years because of this shift.

What do you think? Are you involved in this re-skilling? Have you been re-skilled?

From Idea to Print: Getting Your First Book Started

August 4, 2012

©copyright by Robert W. Lucas

In previous articles in this blog series, I have addressed how you get started as a book author and made some suggestions related to where to start your research about the publishing industry and in determining whether to pursue a major publisher or self-publish your work. As you may have started to realize, there is more to being an author than just writing words on a computer.


Successful authors have a vision or goal related to where they want to see themselves and their work once the writing is done. They also typically have something they want to say. This might be professional advice or a story they want to tell. No matter what your purpose, you have to gather together information and develop a plan before you attempt to find a publisher or write your book. Anything less will likely result in wasted effort and frustration and the possible extinction of your creative writing vision forever.

If you feel that you have the ability to communicate your message to others through printed or electronic means, then go for it. If you have the ideas or a tale you want to share and do not feel competent at writing it or simply do not have the time or patience, there are people who will do that for you. They are called ghost writers. Many professionals and celebrities use them to craft their story. You can find these people through an Internet search or through professional networking with a writers group.


Getting Connected – Leveraging Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

August 2, 2012

If you have ever relied on our families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to grow your knowledge about the world, you have taken advantage of a Personal Learning Network (PLN). You have also used a PLN if you have used reference books, textbooks, television (CNN or MSN, for example) and radio stations (National Public Radio or BBC) , and professional and personal-interest magazines. And, more recently, we have been connecting with people and information through the digital realm via social media sites. The good news is that there is an ever-growing repertoire of applications that have taken content from the printed page, and have given voice to the ideas of people we have never had access to before. This enabling us to redesign our information experiences to suit our needs.

Part of our role as facilitators of learning is helping our learners learn to teach themselves. That is why modeling a learning lifestyle is one of the best things that we can offer our learners.

Harnessing these new technologies to create and grow our own PLNs is imperative for educators who want to stay connected to the changing world we are charged with introducing to our students.

PLNs provide access to sources of information that were not even available a few years ago. This now creates an information overload, which we are seeing every day. To our rescue come continually evolving technologies. They make it easier to capture and tame this overload.