The University of Central Oklahoma launches online Workforce Advantage Professional Certificate
This fall, the University of Central Oklahoma will launch its online Workforce Advantage professional certificate for area businesses seeking to build and enhance essential skills for growth in their employees.
UCO began the Workforce Advantage program in 2016 as a series of in-person classes. The move to online classes will allow the successful program to reach more people in the community.
“The University of Central Oklahoma's Workforce Advantage solution is uniquely designed to meet the right need, at the right time. People are the most strategic resource of any organization,” said the University of Central Oklahoma’s Chief Learning Innovative Officer Bucky Dodd, Ph.D. “This solution helps businesses make an investment in their people that will have positive, far-reaching benefits.”
Employers can enroll their employees in the program or attendees can sign up on their own. The curriculum can be tailored to an organization and its specific needs. Upon competition of the program, attendees are awarded a professional certificate from UCO.
The program was born out of Oklahoma Works meetings where business leaders spoke often about how their younger employees lacked certain soft skills. These soft skills are vital for career advancement and a companies’ ability to nurture and grow their talent.
“The skills developed through this program gives employees a professional edge in their career and equips employers with a qualified, nimble, and effective workforce to meet the dynamic challenges that businesses face both for today and tomorrow,” said Dodd.
The training course is designed to help new and advancing professionals learn strategies for growth within their organization. The training program is divided into three main topics: personal branding, relationship building and reputation management.
The course teaches participants about how to navigate interpersonal dynamics, how to portray a professional image, develop positive professional relationships and recognize actions that can jeopardize the image of yourself or your company.
According to Lee Copeland, director of talent and business for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, training opportunities like the one UCO provides are more critical than ever.
“We’ve entered into relatively uncharted territory in our regional job market, due to the economic downturn and the pandemic,” said Copeland. “The fallout from these two factors have drastically changed the job landscape. This is creating opportunities for people to find training that can open up new opportunities for career pivots or advancement.”
With several downtown locations, UCO provides students learning opportunities located closer to their work or home. The University of Central Oklahoma also partners with local businesses to build customizable training classes to further develop their workforce.