The Renegade Rip

Program helps firms to train employees

Amber Garcia

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It’s possible that Enron may have avoided a huge scandal if officials had sought the advice of the Corporate and Community Services of Bakersfield College.

Located in the downtown Weill Institute, CCS provides training for businesses and organizations that want to improve the efficiency of their workplaces. They have provided their services in the past to companies like Sears, Purina, Nestle, ChevronTexaco and have an ongoing contract training employees in the Kern County Superior Court.

Individuals seeking job promotions often take the community education classes offered by CCS and “custom training” is provided to those companies who wish to have their employees improve their supervisory, communication and management skills among many others. Helping these companies results in a better economy in our area, said Peter DeArmond, the director of CCS.

“Community colleges are supposed to be serving the community,” DeArmond said. “We’ve got a lot invested in the community. We’re helping people enter the work force at many different levels. … That’s helping the bottom line of businesses.”

CCS provides hands-on experience for the employees being trained. DeArmond compared it to a science lab, where students must experiment to get the desired results because not all companies or employees are alike. He said the staff is dedicated to helping employees, and that the feedback from the companies is very optimistic.

“We do get nothing but positive feedback on the training we provide,” he said. “It’s the kind of feeling a really good teacher gets.”

Susan Scaffidi, the assistant director of CCS, said the training they provide is much more effective than the one-day seminars many employees are sent to by their companies.

“Usually, when companies think about embarking on some kind of training program, it’s because they see the need for some kind of change,” she said. “You don’t create change in a day. … Learning how to do things differently takes time and you’re not going to get that from a one- or two-day seminar.”

Although the ideal number of employees to train is 15 to 25, CCS has at one point trained 150 people at a time, Scaffidi said. She said the duration of the training depends on what the company’s goals are, and that the training itself is organized specifically for the company’s needs.

“I think we’re getting better at what we do,” she said. “As long as we remain focused on what the results have to be, both in terms of what people learn and what the company is trying to accomplish. If we stay true to our methodology, we will continue to be effective as trainers.”

DeArmond said CCS does well despite little marketing, but wants people to know that even though the office is located at the 2101 K St. Mall, they are still very much a part of BC.

“We’re very proudly a part of Bakersfield College,” he said. “I want more people (at BC) to know that we are a part of Bakersfield College.”

For more information, contact DeArmond at 395-4125, or visit the program’s Web site at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/ccs.

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Program helps firms to train employees