Utilities Collaborate to Launch Online Leadership Development Initiatives with MEA

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EnergyU's leadership package trains tomorrow's leaders at reduced cost and with higher efficiency.

Midwest ENERGY Association (MEA) announces that Kansas City Power and Light (KCPL), MidAmerican Energy, Integrys, Ameren, NicSource, Alliant and more have chosen EnergyU's leadership package. MEA's Workforce Development Council saw the need for energy specific leadership training and selected the Harvard ManageMentor® Plus program and a group of SkillSoft courses to complete the package.

"The Harvard ManageMentor® Plus program and the selection of SkillSoft courses from MEA's http://www.energyu.org website are the best I have seen," explains Kris Emaus, Manager of Training and Development for NiSource, parent company to Columbia Gas Companies and Northern Indiana Public Service Company. "Through MEA's buying power we get the entire leadership development online series at substantial savings." EnergyU's leadership training grants 24/7 access for less than $100 per employee. With nearly 1,000 enrollees in the Midwest the package is now being made available to all utilities, pipelines and contractors.

Travis Clark, Project Engineer, Technical Training and Development for Kansas City Power and Light, chose "to install the courses on (KCPL's) own learning management system. Just a few weeks after our launch, we already had over 10 percent of our leaders accessing at least one course. That is great since they have until June of 2008 to complete them."

"Online learning alone isn't enough or it becomes just another extra intellectual task for an already very busy supervisor or manager," advised Emaus. "Yes, online learning can save money and time, but for the learning to sink in and make a real difference in performance, it must be coupled with related experiential learning. For example, we have 75 new leaders who have been assigned specific courses to take. When they finish the coaching module, they actually use the skills in several coaching situations and then go over the experience with their boss."

"We agree," says Clark. "We like the SkillSoft blended learning packages through MEA. They offer face to face, small group activities to complement individual online learning. We also launched our http://www.energyu.org program simultaneously with a six part, in house classroom series. The two reinforced each other."

"Our leaders are very pleased with the quality of the content in the http://www.energyu.org online program," continued Emaus. "Adjusting to online learning was never a problem, in fact, our younger, emerging leaders expected that computer based learning should be a natural part of our program. They are used to using the computer as a tool and want to keep their skills sharp."

"MEA's program offers two tracks, each of which is a mixture of SkillSoft courses and MEA energy industry specific courses," explained Don Szambelan, Chief Learning Officer for MEA. "Another popular choice is the Harvard ManageMentor® Plus program. It has 41 Management, Communications, Planning, Strategy and Personal Development topics that can be used as training or quick reference only with 24/7 online access, printable checklists and guides, self-assessments plus optional Harvard Business Publications for additional learning. Some companies empower employees to participate, others offer the program as a career enhancement option. Either way, they are in line with Fortune 500 companies and their push for quality online and blended learning opportunities. The good news is, together we save utilities a lot of money and have a state of the art program."

MEA has served the energy industry for over 100 years. MEA and its members' experience has made EnergyU the most comprehensive e-learning resource for the industry. Delivering effective energy specific multi-media learning furthers MEA's reputation as one of the leading energy service organizations in the nation.

SkillSoft provides comprehensive e-learning content and technology products for business and IT professionals. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions enhance the speed and effectiveness of formal and informal learning and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth courseware, Referenceware®, learning management platform, virtual classroom technology and support services. For more information visit http://www.skillsoft.com.

Harvard Business School Publishing is the leading resource for management practices, programs and content. They deliver the practical application of groundbreaking management ideas to progressive learning organizations around the world, helping them create strategic programs to achieve their operational goals. Guided by curriculum and technology experts, it draws from their deep well of management programs and content to create customized solutions with measurable impact for their customers. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard Business School Publishing is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harvard University.

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