Archive for the ‘Career Planning & Talent Management’ Category

Economy – 700 New Simulation Jobs To Orlando Over Five Years

January 28, 2013

Orlando is about to get a slew of high-paying jobs that are part of the simulation/training industry.

We are about to see almost $300 million dollars in new defense training contracts. With these new contracts, Orlando is solidifying itself as a high-tech hub for the simulation industry.

The recipient of these contracts is a local company, Cubic Defense Applications. They are known for some of the best combat simulations in the industry.



Career Development – Future Workforce Skills

October 22, 2012

The Institute for the Future is an independent nonprofit research group. Their mission is to work with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. They take a global approach to strategic planning, linking macro trends to local issues in such areas as:

  • Work and daily life
  • Technology and society
  • Health and health care
  • Global business trends
  • Changing consumer society

Interestingly, a 2011 survey of more than 2,500 college students and employers reported that 65% of employers believe that the workforce skills keeping their company competitive today will be the same skills keeping them competitive 10 years from now. Only about 40% of our corporations are adapting their talent management strategies to develop a properly skilled staff. Workers with these identified skills will play a large role in bridging the gap in skill sets.

According to the Institute of the Future, there are ten skills defined as the key skills workers will need over the next decade. These are the skills that will help you thrive, even though radical technology changes, society changes, and the changing nature of work.


Education – Massive Open Online Courses –MOOCs

September 13, 2012

Today, I saw an article in USA Today that was interesting and could be a game changer down the road. Here is a sampling from the article.

MOOCs have the potential to be a “pivotal development” that can revolutionize higher education. Questions remain whether these online courses can be profitable and whether traditional colleges will award credit for them. But if successful, MOOCs could lead to lower costs for families and access to higher-quality instruction for anyone in the world who has Internet access.

“The industry has operated more or less along the same business model and even the same technology for hundreds of years,” says John Nelson, managing director of Moody’s Higher Education. “MOOCS represent a rapidly developing and emerging change and that is very, very rare.”

Read full story: College May Never Be The Same

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.


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.


Author – Getting Your First Non-Fiction Book Published

July 9, 2012

©copyright Robert W. Lucas

As you might have read in my previous blog article, writing comes from within you and can start simply by sharing nuggets from your knowledge and experience. We often forget that others do not know everything that we know. In many cases, people are struggling to solve problems or deal with personal and professional issues that you have already solved or dealt with during your life or career. They are often willing to pay for your knowledge, but first you have to put it into a meaningful format and then deliver it to them conveniently. Luckily, in addition to all the traditional print media, there are a number of electronic reading devices or eReaders like the Apple iPad, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, Sony Reader and other less expensive models where consumers can download and read electronic copies of books and other publications, typically at less cost than printed versions.


Author – Writing for Personal and Professional Expression

June 15, 2012

Many trainers want to write articles and a book but don’t know where to start. This is the first in a series on getting started in publishing by internationally-known author and consultant and Past President of the Central Florida Chapter of ASTD, Bob Lucas, who shares his experiences on the writing profession.

Writing for Personal and Professional Expression
©copyright, Robert W. Lucas

My first article was printed in a real publication (Police and Security News) in the mid-1980s. I was so excited. Although I had not been paid for the piece, my words were right there in a newspaper-type publication for the world to read. That shot of adrenaline encouraged me to continue  my literary efforts. I wrote other short articles for the publication and then decided to test the waters elsewhere. I created a monthly column of training tips for the Metro DC chapter of ASTD’s member newsletter.  From there, other small pieces followed in local publications and in The National Rifleman for the National Rifle Association, where I worked at the time. In all these instances, I did nothing more than share my experience and knowledge on training and development related topics.  Ultimately, the articles that I had written led me to my first book contract where the publisher asked for samples of my writing to gauge my style and to see if I could effectively put two sentences together to make a thought.


Opportunities to Have your Instructional Design Skills Change the World

June 13, 2012

Many times, we get stuck in the rut of doing the same kinds of eLearning or course development over and over. We don’t really get the opportunity to do something unique that causes us to stretch our skills or infuse us with new inputs. Also, sometimes it just feels like we are a machine cranking out content, but not really affecting anything long term.

You can step out of your normal “box” and get involved in some projects that will stretch you and allow you to build some portfolio pieces, as well as build new contacts and possibly offer you access to some new tools to improve your skill set.

Two programs you may be interested in are:

  • Global Giveback
  • E-learning for Kids


Consulting – Getting to know the Learning & Development Consulting Occupation

May 30, 2012

The May ASTD Chapter meeting was about getting familiar with being a consultant in the Learning and Development space. The host of the event was Seema Rafay of Spectrum Performance Services. She specializes in Performance Management and is strategic partners with Profiles International.


There was quite an interesting discussion as to what a consultant actually was. Two of the definitions that came out were:

  • Someone who has to influence thoughts and actions of others without control.
  • Someone who is a motivator and understands the needs of a company. They affect outcomes and they are familiar with who the players are in a within an organization. It is all about relationships.
    Essentially, what we ended up with was a three-point definition.

A consultant is someone that:

  • Professionally counsels to advise, guide, and inform.
  • Is qualified to engage in this type of activity.
  • Delivers solutions to the stated problems.

There are many of us that have no real desire to be an private consultant for one reason or another, but, it is important to realize that you have the capability to be a consultant within your own organization. If you assist in solving problems, are qualified to do so, and making recommendations that meet the problems, you are a consultant.

The one thing we also agreed to was that consultants do NOT tell people what to do.